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TV’s most powerful woman?

Lauren ZalaznickWhen last month’s merger between cable giant Comcast and NBC Universal was finally approved by the federal government, one woman was poised to become one of the most influential in the television industry. Lauren Zalaznick, formerly head of NBC Universal’s Women and Lifestyle Entertainment networks, emerged from the deal with a new title: chairman, NBC Universal Entertainment & Digital Networks and Integrated Media.

In her new role, Zalaznick oversees a wide array of the company’s expanded media empire, including cable networks Bravo Media, Oxygen Media, and Telemundo, as well as digital properties iVillage, Fandango, and DailyCandy. She recently spoke with BU Today.

What are the best and worst decisions you’ve ever made?

The best business decision I made was a variation on the “big fish, small pond.” At various points along my career path, I’ve chosen the bigger purview at the smaller venue: producer of a short film rather than production assistant on a huge feature; president of TRIO as opposed to a smaller programming job at a bigger network. It’s not about the title, it’s about learning a business from top to bottom and being responsible for every decision that goes into building the framework of a smaller asset or product, and then translating that real experience to a broader scope in the next job. I don’t have a single business decision that has been so bad that it ever gutted a successful profit-and-loss statement or even mortally embarrassed anyone. All that tells me is that I haven’t taken a big enough swing at something.

Read the rest of Lauren Zalaznick’s interview at BU Today.

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