President & GM, TLC, Discovery Communications
With Daniels at the helm, TLC was a top 10 ad-supported primetime cable network with women 25-54 last year, and is on track for a similar ranking in 2016. “Sister Wives” had its highest-rated premiere in three years, seven new series were renewed for a second season, and the network premiered its first-ever scripted series, from Tyler Perry. Daniels also oversaw the brand’s refresh this year, including a new look and the “I AM” campaign that launched in July celebrating the differences that make us who we are. Daniels says she sees a lot of women in content development at the executive level, but she wishes there were more women-owned production companies. To her 13-year-old self she’d say: “All that TV you’re watching will come in handy someday.”
Which sector of the cable industry best demonstrates gender equality? Which could use some enlightenment?
There are a lot of women represented in content development on the executive level, particularly being on a female-focused network I see a lot of women executives bringing their perspective into the development process. On the other hand, I wish there were more women-owned production companies. There are a few out there bucking the trend (Fly On the Wall, T-Group, Pie Town Productions), but for the most part the most dominant companies in the non-fiction space are started and run by men.
What advice would you give your 13-year-old self?
Don’t worry, you will be fine. All that TV you’re watching will come in handy someday. Enjoy every second of college!
What’s been the biggest story in cable this year?
The strength of niche networks.