"Most mission statements would say, 'To be the largest provider of kids' entertainment in the world.' We didn't do that. (Nickelodeon) had a mission statement which was: 'To connect kids with each other and with their world through entertainment.' Now, that is a big idea."
About This Interview
Geraldine Laybourne was interviewed for nearly three hours in New York, NY. Laybourne talked about her early interests in education and visual media for children. She chronicled her role (and that of her husband Kit Laybourne) in the creation of Media Center for Children and Early Bird Specials Company, and the independent productions she developed including Video Dream Theatre, an animated program based on the dreams of children. She spoke about her early years at Nickelodeon, where she joined as program manager in 1980. She talked about creating Nick at Nite, which featured classic television programming. She spoke about several of the popular shows that appeared on Nickelodeon, including You Can't Do That on Television, Rugrats, Double Dare, The Ren and Stimpy Show, and the children's news show Nick News. She noted that her greatest contribution as head of the network (after moving up the ladder, she became the network's President in 1989) was to "always be on the side of kids." She commented on her tenures at MTV Networks and Disney/ABC in the mid-90s. She then spoke in great detail about serving as CEO and Chairman of the Oxygen Media Group and her involvement in co-founding the Oxygen Network. She talked about the other principles of the company, the network's initial programming, and it's branding. She also discussed 9/11, and how, with its transmition center at ground zero, Oxygen was knocked off the air. B-role consisted of over twenty photos related to her career. The interview was conducted by Jane Altschuler, in a joint venture with New York Women in Film & Television, on August 25, 2008.