Ex-Lifetimer to Head WebMD Programming


New York-Former Lifetime Television executive Donna Harrison was named acting head of programming for WebMD Television, formerly The Health Network, which is relaunching this fall, officials said last week.

In her new post, Harrison will be reporting to her boss from when she was at Lifetime in the early 1990s, Pat Fili-Krushel, who is now CEO of WebMD Health. Harrison is a former vice president of original programming at Lifetime.

Most recently, Harrison served as co-executive producer of CBS' primetime game show, Winning Lines, which is hosted by Dick Clark. Prior to that, she was executive producer for Emmy Award-nominated daytime talk show Leeza, where she produced more than 250 original one-hour episodes.

In her new post, Harrison will be responsible for the creation and oversight of WebMD TV's programming as the network gets ready to relaunch later this year. She will handle day-to-day management of all programming, including series, specials, scheduling and acquisitions.

"We need to take the network to the next level in terms of content and the quality of the production values," Harrison said. "We want to go way beyond operating-room procedures and medical how-to information. We need to find entertaining ways to provide information."

Marc Krigsman, WebMD TV's senior vice president of programming, production and content, is leaving the company effective July 31.

Harrison will not only be trying to attract new programming suppliers to WebMD TV, but she will also attempt to create shows in-house for the health network.

At Lifetime, Harrison was responsible for the network's nonfiction series and specials, including talk shows, game shows and a magazine series. Harrison said she worked with Fili-Krushel between 1990 and 1993.

After leaving Lifetime, Fili-Krushel joined ABC Television Network, rising to become president before leaving to join WebMD Health.

Harrison, who will remain based in Los Angeles, said her exact title and role will be firmed up once a general manager is hired for the network.