OMD's Debbie Richman Moves to Lifetime as Ad Sales Head

Chris Geraci to Replace Her as Top TV Buyer at OMD

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NEW YORK ( -- Debbie Richman, a prominent media-buying executive who supervised broadcast buying at Omnicom Group's OMD for the last several years, is jumping ship to the selling side. She will become exec VP-ad sales for Lifetime Networks, a role that the female-oriented cabler has taken several months to fill.
Debbie Richman
Debbie Richman Credit: Ric Kallaher

Ms. Richman replaces Lynn Picard, a Lifetime veteran who had been at the jointly-owned Walt Disney/Hearst Corp. cable channel for 13 years. Ms. Picard left in late June. Since that time, Lifetime ad-sales veterans Rick Basso and John Matluck have supervised her role. Ms. Richman said she only began talking to Lifetime "more recently."

As head of ad sales, Ms. Picard was known for maintaining a solid relationship with one of Lifetime's top buyers, Procter & Gamble -- known to be a demanding client. For her part, Ms. Richman said she brings a wealth of experience to the role. As someone who has worked on the buying side for a broad range of clients, she said she knows "what clients want, what clients need, what brands need."

A 'user-friendly' Lifetime
Under her aegis, Ms. Richman said she would like Lifetime to become "more user-friendly. We want to build partnership and sponsorships and create multi-platform deals for everyone. That, to me, is what Lifetime should be doing more of."

The channel has tackled some of this in the past. In 2004, Lifetime sold all the national ad time during its Friday-night primetime movies to P&G. The consumer-products giant used much of the time for traditional commercials, but also aired three two-minute segments during ad breaks that told full stories about 13 different women being made over by a "Glam Squad" with P&G health and beauty brands such as Crest, CoverGirl, Clairol, Pantene and Olay. The ads, dubbed "show-mercials" were created with the help of Publicis Groupe's MediaVest.

Ms. Richman has had a hand in similar deals, having helped orchestrate Nissan's placement in the NBC sci-fi drama "Heroes" as well as integrating Frito-Lay's Nacho Cheese Doritos into "The Colbert Report" on Viacom's Comedy Central.
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