Andrea Wong Leaving Lifetime


Andrea Wong is moving on from Lifetime Networks.
Wong, who has been serving as CEO of Lifetime Entertainment Services, will leave the job, a move that many expected following A&E Television Networks' acquisition of the women's programmer last summer.

"We thank Andrea for her many contributions to Lifetime," AETN said in a statement. "We are pleased she will be with us for a transition period and we wish her well in her future endeavors."

After being integrated into the AETN portfolio, Wong retained her leadership position over Lifetime, sister services Lifetime Movie Network and Lifetime Real Women and their digital properties, but reported to AETN CEO Abbe Raven. Wong's contract was said to be up at the end of April.

In an email to staffers Friday afternoon, Wong noted that with all mergers and acquisitions, change is inevitable, before continuing: "Now that my role in the acquisition of Lifetime by AETN is concluded, and the integration of the organizations including a more streamlined management structure is nearly complete, I believe that it is the right time for me to step down as President & CEO. It is my plan to move on in the coming weeks after assisting in any way I can with the transition.
It has been a true honor to lead Lifetime. And I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the kindness you have all shown to me, for your hard work and dedication to Lifetime, and for the many achievements we can all be proud of over the past three years."

Before news of Wong's departure, some had suggested that Nancy Dubuc, president and general manager of History and History International -- who, along with Bob DeBitetto, president and general manager of A&E Network and Bio, retained their positions after the purchase of Lifetime Entertainment Services -- would emerge as the Lifetime leader.

Succeeding Betty Cohen, Wong joined Lifetime in 2007 after a successful run as head of unscripted fareat ABC where she developed multiple enduring franchises, including Dancing with the Stars and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Some anticipate she could make a return to the Disney camp.

Under her tutelage, Lifetime reaped the benefits and acclaim afforded its most successful series, Army Wives. Wong oversaw the acquisition of Bravo's signature show Project Runway, but the process wound up in court, which delayed its entry on the network. Although it performed well, the fashion competition series didn't strut before the Nielsens as well as it did for the NBC Universal service.

Overall, Lifetime has continued to struggle to regain the perch near and at the top of the ad-supported cable ranks it enjoyed under Carole Black's reign.