A&E taps programming head

A&E Network went outside for a new head of programming, tapping former
Turner Network Television executive Robert DeBitetto as senior vice president of programming.

DeBitetto replaces senior VP of Programming Allen Sabinson, who
was ousted last summer amid the cable network's sliding ratings and the
failure of original dramas 100 Centre Street and Nero Wolfe.
(A&E finished the year with a 1.0 prime-time average, down 17 percent from
2001, according to Nielsen Media Research.)

The executive shuffle at A&E and sister network The History Channel has largely
traded executives from one to the other. DeBitetto's background is in series and
movie development for TNT, where he was president of original programming before
he was squeezed out a year ago. He also oversaw production unit TNT Originals,
which was disbanded.