Moving to bring in her own team, Lifetime’s new senior VP of programming and production Dawn Tarnof-sky is pink-slipping three of the cablenet’s highest-ranking programming executives, according to sources: VP of programming Peggy Allen, director of original programming Lisa Nee and director of program planning Paul DeBenedittis.
In an unrelated move, Lifetime’s VP, original movies, Sheri Singer, is ankling the network to partner with her hus-band, independent producer Steve White, in a new production company.
Tarnofsky, who joined Lifetime Oct. 22, replaced Judy Girard as head of the network’s expanding original pro-gramming area. She is expected to name replacements for the three departing programmers before March.
Allen, who was brought to Lifetime by Girard (who departed in July), has been at the network for 3-1/2 years, during which it Lifetime has greatly stepped up series and specials during the daytime hours that she oversaw.
DeBenedittis has worked at Lifetime for five years, while Nee joined prior to that. Her precise start date was unavailable on Monday, and Lifetime declined comment on the situation.
An industry source said Monday that Tarnofsky is looking to replace the programming trio with executives who have greater hands-on development experience and who will spend much of their time chatting-up producers and mining ideas for series pilots. All will be based in New York but spend much of their time in Los Angeles.
Tarnofsky also hopes to have a new original weekly drama series on the air before the end of the year.