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Andrea Wong leaving Lifetime

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Andrea Wong, chief executive of Lifetime for nearly three years, is leaving the network. Her contract was due to expire in April.

The shake-up comes less than six months after a corporate restructuring that lumped Lifetime into the A&E Television Networks group, leaving Wong no longer the top executive at the joint venture between Hearst Corp. and Walt Disney Co. Instead, she reported to Abbe Raven, the head of A&E Television Networks.

Wong worked to give Lifetime a makeover from the network’s frumpy image -- but some of her bold business moves backfired.

The MIT graduate agreed to spend more than $150 million to nab the hit show ‘Project Runway’ from Bravo. The expensive deal, which wound up in court when NBC Universal contested the legitimacy of the channel switch, included dozens of movies from the Weinstein Co. that were viewed as stinkers. While ‘Project Runway’ performed well -- though down considerably from when it aired on Bravo -- ratings at the channel have been sliding. It was not the uplifting Lifetime story that Wong was hoping to write when she left her prominent job at ABC in 2007.

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Wong’s departure was first reported by the blog deadline hollywood. It is unclear where Wong will land.

-- Meg James


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