Indications are that History overseer Nancy Dubuc will be named the new
head of Lifetime Entertainment Services today.
Dubuc, History's president since late 2006, has presided over a transformation of the former History Channel and is riding high in the ratings this week with America: The Story of Us.
A&E Television Networks, which includes A&E, History and the Lifetime networks (including Lifetime Movie Network and Lifetime Real Women), has been seeking a replacement for former chief Andrea Wong, who officially left last week.
Monday night, Dubuc was scheduled to take part in a panel discussion in New York City with other cable programmers, but was substitued by A&E SVP Robert Sharenow. The panel moderator explained that Dubuc was headed to Los Angeles for a big news announcement Tuesday.
AETN spokesman Michael Feeney did not respond to phone and email messages Monday night and early Tuesday about what the expected news was.
Dubuc has been rumored to be the leading candidate to replace Wong. Monday night, Deadline.com reported Dubuc was likely to be named to the Lifetime post this week, possibly today. The item speculated that Dubuc would retain oversight of History as well as the Lifetime networks.
Update: Variety has the official feed of the story today. Dubuc will retain History, it said.
AETN CEO Abbe Raven said in an interview in this week's Multichannel News that "I absolutely am confident
that we will, with an infusion of original programming
and great cross-promotion, be able
to reverse any kind of [ratings] trend" at Lifetime. "You will
start to see ratings growth as we evolve Lifetime
to be a little bit more contemporary in style.
I think there are minor tweaks that we can
make to continue to grow the Lifetime ratings.
Right now, we’re flat, but that will change and
I am absolutely confident that you will see that
evolution of Lifetime.
"Lifetime at one time was
the No. 1 network in all of cable, and we can
absolutely reclaim that title," Raven declared.
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