Burbank, California – Salaam Coleman Smith has been named Executive Vice President, Strategy and Programming, ABC Family. It was announced on July 15 by Tom Ascheim, President, ABC Family, to whom she will report. An industry leader, Coleman Smith joins the network with extensive experience in business, creative and day-to-day network management, having served as President of Style Media for the past five years and most recently as President, Strategic Initiatives for NBCUniversal’s Cable Entertainment Group.
In her new position, Coleman Smith will direct long-term growth strategies and opportunities for ABC Family, including key business and creative alliances and multi-platform content expansion. Coleman Smith will oversee strategy, new business development, programme planning and acquisitions on all platforms to deliver on the network’s commitment to bring high-quality creative content to its audience. She is also charged with partnering with the Disney-ABC Television Group leadership team in evaluating and formulating new initiatives for the network.
In speaking about her appointment, Ascheim said, “Salaam is an all-around great executive and a great person who will bring new insights and ideas to our team as we ready ourselves for substantial growth in today’s complex marketplace. She also has extensive experience in building businesses and brands, connecting with audiences, and growing revenue that will maximise our opportunities for success. I’m thrilled she is joining our team.”
Coleman Smith added, “I am a huge fan of ABC Family. It’s a top five cable network with a proven track record of delivering compelling and emotionally-riveting content to a large and loyal audience of young, enthusiastic, digitally savvy viewers. I am excited about Tom’s transformative vision for growing this business, and I look forward to partnering with him and the ABC Family team to engage this audience in new and exciting ways. “
Prior to her last appointment at NBCU, Coleman Smith served as President of Style Media, overseeing all business and creative aspects of the cable network, including content development and production, marketing and brand strategy, programme planning, audience research, and new business development. During her tenure, Coleman Smith built Style as cable television’s fastest-growing network for young, affluent, diverse women. With her entrepreneurial drive and creative vision, Coleman Smith helped grow Style’s distribution from 35 million homes to nearly 80 million homes, tripled primetime ratings and revenue, established Style as a multi-platform destination with a strong track record of growth and profitability, and led Style to two Daytime Emmy wins and 13 Daytime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Programming.
Coleman Smith joined Comcast in 2003 as SVP, Programming for E! Entertainment & Style Network and was named President of Style Network in 2008. Prior to Comcast NBCUniversal, Coleman Smith had a successful 10-year run at MTV Networks where she served as Vice President of Programming for Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite and played an integral role in Nickelodeon’s global expansion in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.
Coleman Smith has been named to The Hollywood Reporter’s “Power 100: Women in Entertainment,” The Hollywood Reporter’s “Reality TV: 50 Most Powerful,” Broadcasting & Cable’s “Next Wave of Leaders,” CableFAX’s “Most Powerful Women in Cable” and “Most Influential Minorities in Cable,” and Fortune Magazine‘s “8 to Watch.” Coleman Smith has served on the national boards of Women In Cable and Telecommunications (WICT) and TV One, Radio One’s flagship cable network and has received numerous accolades for her commitment to nurturing the next generation of media leaders, including WICT’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2009 and the T. Howard Foundation’s “Champion Award” in 2014.
Coleman Smith graduated from Stanford University with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering.