As part of the Women In Entertainment Mentorship, Kaplan mentors inner-city girls, but she also applies those leadership skills to her staff. “If I enjoy and empower and develop a team of talented people… that’s a successful career,” she says. This recent inductee into the Cablefax Hall of Fame presided over record-high ratings for Animal Planet’s beloved Puppy Bowl in February, as well as helped usher TLC to the No. 5 ad-supported Primetime cable network among Women 25-54, up from No. 9 last year.
What’s been the biggest story in cable this year?
Cable has always been about storytelling, but there’s never been a higher premium placed on it than there is right now. Huge characters and addictive plot lines have made shows like “Deadliest Catch,” “Walking Dead,” and “True Detective,” among others, huge successes. We at Discovery, TLC and Animal Planet see that as a challenge to tap our own creativity and deliver our best programming yet.
How do you define a successful career?
If I’ve been challenged and inspired, if I enjoy and empower and develop a team of talented people, if I can have a positive impact and do something that matters and if I continue to learn and grow… that’s a successful career.
Best trick for maintaining the personal-professional life balance?
No such thing! But, surrounding yourself with a strong team that you can rely on helps with this constant juggling act. And, always leave behind all your electronics when walking your dog.
When not in the office, where are we most likely to find you?
I love anything in or near the ocean!