Cartoon Network is one of the most favourite cartoon channels for children. Cartoons from Cartoon Network make us all nostalgic. Whenever you look back at your childhood, cartoons were a huge part of it. Betty Cohen was the founder and the original president of the network from 1992 to 2001. During her time, Cartoon Network became a phenomenon worth more than $3 billion. In 2001, she stepped down. She was responsible for crafting our childhood and fantasy world. Her success story stands as a huge inspiration to millions of women around the globe.
The beginning of Cartoon Network
Usually, all the great ideas start from our childhood and the knowledge and experience we gain during those years. Betty Cohen grew up in Wisconsin, in the small city of Racine. During her teenage years, Betty was attracted by the entertainment industry. She was born in 1950, so her teenage years included a lot of the 60s. She acted and directed plays, and she even wrote her senior paper on the Children’s television workshop. After finishing high school, she majored in communications at Stanford. She spent one semester in England, and after graduating, she started as a production manager for Public Media Center in San Francisco. During her time in the agency, she learned to see the larger picture. “I had the perspective to see where the project should head, rather than writing the first draft”, says Betty.
It was that knowledge that helped her make Cartoon Network successful. Initially, she was the manager of marketing in the Cable Health Network in 1982. She worked for Nickelodeon from 1984 to 1988 and got her first exposure to cartoons. She joined TNT in 1988. Betty also launched NFL and NBA packages at TNT (Turner Network Television). She attracted the male public, which made it easier for her to start Cartoon Network.
Cartoon Network launched in 1992 and she had only one goal in mind, to become the most creative brand for animated entertainment. Her recipe to success was to use vintage toons combined with original programming. TNT owned rights for Hanna-Barbera, MGM, and pre-1948 Warner Bros. This helped her use Bugs Bunny, Tom and Jerry, and many other historic cartoons as part of the Cartoon Network.
Betty Cohen’s fight for diversity and women’s rights
When she first became an executive, Cohen started her fight for women’s rights and diversifies. One of her first decisions was to remove the tagline on Lifetime, “Television for Women”. “Women don’t want to be told what to think; they don’t want us telling them what is television for women. They want to decide for themselves and we want to be there for them.”
She wanted to understand what draws women to watch television. And she came to the perfect conclusion:
“Women want something that informs their own journey, consciously or subconsciously, when they escape. Society has changed so much there are no more proscribed roles for women. They can do anything they want and that means freedom, but it also means responsibility. They want validation of their own choices. Women don’t want lessons, but they do want to relate to dilemmas, stories, and issues. Women refer to their lives as works in progress. They are looking for reassurance. When you lose yourself in a story, sometimes you find your own story.”
With hard work, Cohen turned her dreams and passions into reality. She also fought to bring about a change in the entertainment industry and society.
Also read: Levis Strauss | The success story of “The Father of Jeans” and founder of Levi’s
When was Cartoon Network created?
1 October 1992
What are some of the Popular shows of Cartoon Network?
Cartoon Network have telecasted several shows over the years. Some of the evergreen shows are Johnny Bravo, Looney Tunes, Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, Scooby-Doo, Justice League, Ben 10, Dexter’s Laboratory, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Powerpuff girls and many more.