Rai fiction taps ousted exec to top

Sacca was forced to step down March 25

MILAN — RAI Fiction, the crucial TV drama production and acquisition division of Italo pubcaster RAI, surprised industryites Tuesday by appointing ousted RAI general director Agostino Sacca as its new topper.

Sacca was forced to step down March 25 after the pubcaster’s newly appointed prexy Lucia Annunciata and the new board of directors replaced him with Flavio Cattaneo.

RAI Fiction has an annual budget of about $170 million and is one of Italy’s major media players.

Sacca and former RAI prexy Antonio Baldassarre, both close to Italy’s premier and media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi, have been repeatedly accused by opposition politicos of political censorship of the pubcaster and of weakening RAI commercially to favor Berlusconi’s TV network Mediaset.

The National Assn. of TV Producers, APT, has been protesting for months against RAI’s decision to cut productions, accusing the network of not observing legal requirements to invest a quota of its budget in the independent TV industry.

RAI Fiction’s previous head was Stefano Munafo, a RAI veteran who ankled in November, claiming he was being pushed out by the board, which was appointed in 2002 by Berlusconi’s right-wing political coalition.

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