ABC's Wong New Lifetime CEO

A day after Betty Cohen resigned as head of Lifetime Entertainment, the company has tapped ABC programming veteran Andrea Wong to take over just weeks before the upfront.

Wong has been executive vice president-alternative programming, specials and late night at ABC since 2004. She will hold the title of president-CEO at Lifetime, which includes leadership of the flagship eponymous network, the Lifetime Movie Network and a slew of new media ventures.

The announcement came from Anne Sweeney, who serves in one role as president of the Disney-ABC Television Group, and John Conomikes, director of the Hearst Corporation. Lifetime Entertainment is a 50/50 joint venture of the two.

"Andrea is a straight shooter who is smart enough to know which challenges to undertake and fearless enough to see them through," Sweeney said. "She is also a true consumer-facing executive, one who understands her audience and uses her experience to speak to them in compelling ways."

Wong came to ABC in 1993 and joined the news department's research operations, moving to the entertainment division a year later. She is credited with bringing "Dancing With the Stars" to the U.S.--and developing frequent top-10 performer "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." Wong's first reality foray at ABC was the one-time smash and still-successful "The Bachelor."



"Lifetime is one of the most distinct, powerful and evocative brands on television, and I'm thrilled that Anne and John have entrusted me with the opportunity to shepherd it into the future," Wong said. "I'm especially looking forward to working with the incredibly talented group of people at Lifetime to unearth future growth opportunities that will extend and deepen Lifetime's marketplace dominance." Two years ago, Lifetime was third in the ratings; now it is sixth.

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