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Zaneri quits Spike to try self-help TV

Exec looking towards spiritual prod'n development

Spike TV senior VP of programming Barbara Zaneri, who negotiated the deals for reruns of “CSI” and the James Bond theatricals, has ankled to explore creating motivational self-help programming.

“At the top of my to-do list,” Zaneri said, “is something I’m passionate about: a production company that would tape programs with the message that there’s more to life than ego, money and material things.”

“We tried hard to keep her,” said Kevin Kay, exec VP of programming and development and Zaneri’s boss. Kay will spend the next two months or so seeking a replacement for Zaneri to buy movies and off-network series for Spike to complement its original reality series.

Zaneri said she’ll begin working on programming, tapping into a trend that encompasses everything from meditation and yoga to the spirituality that’s become the stock in trade of TV series like CBS’ “Joan of Arcadia,” HBO’s “Carnivale” and Lifetime’s “1-800-Missing.”

Before she took over as senior VP of program planning and acquisitions at TNN (Spike’s earlier incarnation) three years ago, Zaneri was VP of programming, acquisitions and scheduling for USA Broadcasting, Barry Diller’s TV station group.

Earlier in her career, Zaneri was VP of cable TV for Studios USA, where she helped engineer one of the biggest and most complicated off-net deals in cable history, the sale of “Law & Order” reruns to TNT.

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