Plagued by stagnant ratings and programming that has failed to hit a mark,
A&E Network has surrendered its programming chief.
Allen Sabinson, who had been A&E's senior vice president of programming
since spring 2001, stepped down Monday night.
Dan Davids, currently executive VP and general manager for
A&E, will temporarily take over until Sabinson's replacement is found.
During his tenure, Sabinson spearheaded A&E's effort to expand its
original drama series. One such show, 100 Centre Street, was canceled
earlier this year. A second series, Nero Wolfe, is still on the schedule
and produces Nielsen Media Research ratings of around a 1.5. And with the tab for
well-done original dramas surging past $1 million per episode, the A&E brass
are eschewing scripted shows in favor of cheaper documentary series.
For July, A&E harvested a 1.1 household rating, down 8 percent from July
2001, according to Nielsen data. The network's second-quarter marks were also
off 8 percent.
Network executives declined to comment on Sabinson's departure. A spokesman did
give a diplomatic nod, saying: "We appreciate Allen's many contributions to the