Former Lifetime chief to be based in London
Sony Pictures Entertainment aims to lift its exec profile on the international scene with the appointment of Andrea Wong to a wide-ranging role encompassing TV and film responsibilities.Wong, the former CEO of Lifetime Networks and alternative programming topper at ABC, will oversee Sony’s far-flung foreign TV production operations as prexy of international production for Sony Pictures TV. She’ll also serve as a key overseas liaison for the broader studio, particularly involving governmental policy as it relates to production, as prexy of international for Sony Pictures Entertainment. Based in London, she reports to both Sony Pictures TV prexy Steve Mosko and Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman Michael Lynton and co-chair Amy Pascal. Said Lynton in announcing her appointment: “Andrea will be an important ambassador for Sony Pictures in the international marketplace.” On the TV side, Wong’s mandate is to corral the studio’s ever-growing portfolio of production companies and joint ventures spread throughout Europe, Asia and Latin America. Sony execs saw the dual-track role for Wong as a good fit with her background as a CEO and in alternative production. She was the exec who shephered “Dancing With the Stars” to franchise status at ABC. “Andrea’s business acumen and her role in developing successful unscripted programming like ‘Dancing With the Stars’ and ‘The Bachelor’ make her a perfect fit,” said Mosko. As Sony has expanded its investments in foreign production ventures, the studio saw an opening for an exec to coordinate that activity at a macro level, particularly with an eye toward importing concepts and formats to the U.S. and exporting domestic TV properties in oversees markets. Kees Abrahams, the former prexy of international production for SPT, is ankling the studio. Wong will get off to a running start in her new job as she’ll rep the studio at the Mipcom international TV sales confab in Cannes next week. Wong had been sought after for numerous exec openings since she exited Lifetime in February 2010, following the merger of Lifetime and A&E Networks Inc. Biz insiders were not surprised that she wound up in a role with an accent on international markets. “There has never been a better time to be globally focused, and I look forward to collaborating with Sony’s strong creative team to build and produce great programming worldwide,” she said.