ABC Television Network president Patricia Fili-Krushel quit last week to join Healtheon/WebMD's WebMD Health consumer division as CEO.
The move boosts The Health Network in its battle with Discovery Health Channel. Healtheon owns 50 percent of THN, which will soon be renamed WebMD TV, and Fili-Krushel will oversee the network in her new position.
"[WebMD] is a blue-chip company. It's a guerilla in the category. It' s a subject area that really interests me-that I can get passionate about. I just thought I wanted to be part of their team and help them execute," Fili-Krushel said last week.
Fili-Krushel's appointment is effective April 7. ABC is in the midst of relocating its senior-management team to Los Angeles from New York. The new job allows Fili-Krushel to remain in New York, where she will be based.
Fili-Krushel was named president of ABC in July 1998, after serving as president of ABC Daytime. Earlier, she was group vice president of Hearst/ ABC-Viacom Entertainment Service and senior vice president of programming at Lifetime Television.
In addition to its stake in THN, Healtheon has programming deals with Cable News Network and Fox Broadcasting Co. Fili-Krushel said the company will be focused on using television to drive consumers to its Web site, WebMD.com.
"Whether it's the cable channel, the news inserts on CNN or the Fox show, it' s to drive consumers to the Web site, because that's where they're going to have that one-on-one interaction," Fili-Krushel said. "That' s the big play, but obviously, you have the reach of your cable channel and all of these media ventures to get them there."