Name: Geraldine Laybourne

Title: Chairman/CEO, Oxygen
Age: 60
Years in Industry: 31

 

Why Her? If Jeff Zucker can bank on cable legend Laybourne, that’s good enough for us. NBC’s $925 million purchase of Oxygen Media dislodges one of the last “major indies” but also leaves a pair of gargantuan—and surely very stylish—shoes to fill when Gerry’s successor is named. The matriarch of cable programming, this perpetual “it” girl had the panache to keep shaking things up in 2007 even as she pondered the next chapter in her indelible industry career. After being an early proponent of original VOD content, Oxygen was also among the first to launch its own social network. This year, surrounded by her stellar executive team including Debby Beece, Lisa Gersh and Mary Murano, Laybourne unleashed the first-ever cable upfront, offering an unheard-of January preview. Always game to lend her name—and irreverence—to cable causes, Laybourne remains on the boards of NCTA and Insight. She finds time to shout out for other cherished causes, too. Laybourne recently hosted a successful Mentors Walk on the National Mall in D.C., and she’s heading a team of media elite in support of Hilary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Something tells us she’s not slowing down.  CAO

 

What is your favorite word? “Yes”
What is your least favorite word? “Hot”
What turns you on? “Smart, sassy wit”
What turns you off? “Pompous asses”
What sound do you love? “The ocean”
What sound do you hate? “Whining”
What profession other than yours would like to attempt? “Politics”
What profession would you not like to participate in? “Banking”
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? “You look thin.”

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