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RAI drama chief exits

Munafo cites board pressure

MILAN — Stefano Munafo, head of TV drama production for pubcaster RAI, ankled Monday claiming he was being pushed out by the board appointed by prime minister and media mogul Silvio Berlusconi’s right-wing political coalition.

“It’s more dignified to exit,” topper Munafo said, “rather than hang on a few more months before being ousted.” And he claimed TV drama was at risk of becoming a political tool used to favor some people.

Per industry rumor, Alessio Gorla, a top TV exec working for Berlusconi’s TV group and RAI sole rival Mediaset, could replace Munafo.

Munafo took his post in July 1998. During his time, RAI produced and aired many successful programs which took record audience shares, including the recent “Pope John” miniseries which broke records with an average 47.56% share and over 13 million viewers.

The pubcaster board will discuss Munafo’s resignation at its meeting Thursday.

The resignation was greeted with dismay by the National Association of TV Producers. It said in a statement, this “was a further confirmation of the serious crisis TV drama production has been going through in the last 12 months.”

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