Discovery's TLC has named Fox TV Studios chief Angela Shapiro-Mathes its new President/GM. She replaces David Abraham, who left the network in March to return to the UK as CEO of UKTV.
Shapiro-Mathes, at Fox for three years, has been a candidate for the job for several weeks, according to executives familiar with the situation. She begins on July 1, overseeing programming, production, marketing and all other key functions of the network. She will report to Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav.
Before her studio job, Shapiro-Mathes served as president of ABC Family for about a year. She joined in 2002 after Disney bought the channel from Fox, but left in 2003 in a management shake-up that put Disney Channel executives in charge of the network. Prior to heading the cable channel, she was both president of Disney's Buena Vista Prods. and head of ABC daytime. She co-founded Soap Opera Digest and launched Soap Opera magazine before transitioning to television.
Abraham had been at TLC since February, 2005. Although his departure came amidst a major executive restructuring put into place by Zaslav, he left by his own choice and gave notice months before he actually moved back to the UK.
The network, which suffered double-digit ratings drops in 2005, rebounded last year and is currently up about 15% in prime over a year ago on the strength of reality shows including What Not to Wear and Little People, Big World.
At its upfront presentations, TLC has been showing new reality shows targeting its adults 28-42 audience, including Shut Up! It's Stacy London, a primetime talk show about fashion, and Kleinfeld's Bridal , a look behind the scenes at the famous New York bridal store.