Fili ankles Lifetime for ABC daytime slot

Pat Fili has exited her post as senior VP of programming and production at the Lifetime cable network and is expected to be named head of daytime programming at ABC, as reported (Daily Variety, April 30).

Fili’s appointment to the daytime post has been anticipated since ABC confirmed that Dennis Swanson would give up supervision of the daypart, as he did with children’s programming, in order to devote his full attention to ABC Sports.

It’s understood that the new daytime management structure will be similar to that followed with children’s programming, where VP Jennie Trias was promoted to president of the kids area, reporting directly to ABC Television Network Group president Robert Iger.

ABC declined comment, but an announcement regarding Fili is expected shortly.

Lifetime is one-third-owned by CapCities/ABC, and Fili has been mentioned before for positions at the network, including, at one point, the top movie and miniseries slot after Allen Sabinson was let go in 1991.

Fili has apparently unhappy at Lifetime since Douglas McCormick was named to head the women-oriented network in February, and tensions flared up due to the decision to cancel “Jane Pratt,” a teen-oriented early fringe talk show.

Tried for top post

In addition, Fili was said to have made a pitch for the top position at Lifetime before McCormick was named and felt slighted when she was passed over for the job. Outside groups, in fact,had campaigned for a woman to fill the position.

Prior to joining Lifetime in 1988, Fili spent nine years at HBO, serving as VP of business affairs and production. Hearst and Viacom are ABC’s partners in Lifetime.

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