Table: Lifetime on Top

To become the leading cable channel, CEO Black:

-- Tripled the program budget (in less than three years) to beef up original programs

-- Doubled annual marketing dollars to build the brand

-- Revved up public-health initiatives (such as breast cancer awareness and domestic violence campaigns) to create a greater sense of community

Now, Black's challenges include:

-- Lifetime Real Women, a new premium network, which could stretch resources and cannibalize existing audience

-- Rivals such as Oxygen and WE: Women's Entertainment, which are gaining new distribution deals

-- Mainstream broadcasters becoming more attuned to the tastes of female viewers

Data: BusinessWeek

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