Perhaps borrowing a page from Major League Baseball, A&E Television
Networks CEO Nick Davatzes announced a batch of executive trades Monday between
A&E Network and The History Channel, with a programming executive to be
The swaps moved Abbe Raven to executive vice president and general manager of
A&E Network, replacing Dan Davids, who returned to History as executive VP
At the same time, Davatzes shifted Mike Mohamad over to History as senior VP
of marketing, replacing Artie Scheff, who assumes that post at A&E.
Davatzes said in an interview Monday that he decided to 'give them a
different set of challenges.'
He cited Raven's 'strong programming background' as key to A&E's future,
as she develops programming for next season while also seeking a successor to
Allen Sabinson, who left as senior VP of programming last summer. Finding that
replacement will become less critical now that someone with Raven's credentials
is in charge, he felt.
And Davatzes pointed to Davids' 'strong sales and marketing background' and
the fact that he launched History, 'which he loved and originally didn't want to
In the third quarter, according to Nielsen Media Research data, both A&E
(1.1 rating) and History (0.8) suffered 11 percent ratings declines. A&E's
primetime rating averaged a 1.3 in 2001, which represented a 14 percent decline
A&E has also suffered ratings losses within key demographic groups,
notably the target demo of people aged 25 through 54.
A&E has about 86 million cable and satellite subscribers, while History
has some 82 million.
A&E Networks is owned by The Hearst Corp., ABC and NBC.