After a successful 15-year career as a journalist for USA Today, the Gannett Newspapers and CNBC, Brian Donlon joined Lifetime in 1993.
Dedicated to providing innovative entertainment and information programming of particular interest to women, Lifetime ranks fifth in prime-time household ratings among all basic cable networks.
After he joined the company, Donlon worked tirelessly to bring sports and new media to the network. Through his efforts, Lifetime sponsored such women’s sports ventures as the women’s team that sailed on America 3 for the America’s Cup; the Colorado Silver Bullets; the U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team; Indy car driver Lyn St. James; and the USA Hockey Women’s National Team which featured the first national telecast of women’s ice hockey. As a result of his efforts he was named vice president of sports, new media and public affairs in 1996.
In 1997 he spearheaded the launch of Lifetime Sports, which included telecasts of the inaugural season of the WNBA, Lifetime’s first-ever live sports programming – a matchup between the Los Angeles Sparks and the Sacramento Monarchs.
He then went on to successfully negotiate contracts with the Ladies Professional Golf Association and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association to bring women’s golf and college basketball to Lifetime. With the WBCA, Lifetime produced the “Four in the Fall” tournament which was highlighted by a day-long series of seminars teaching young women and girls self-esteem among other things.
Donlon has won an American Women in Television and Radio award as well as Best Documentary honors from the Women’s Sports Foundation.
A third-generation Irish American, with roots in County Clare, Donlon graduated from Pace University and resides in Westport, Connecticut with his wife and two sons.♦
Article copyright Irish America Inc.