EXCLUSIVE: A+E Networks is shaking up its UK programming team, a move that is expected to lead to the departure of long-standing Lifetime and CI (Crime & Investigation) chief Koulla Anastasi.
I understand that Anastasi is set to depart the business, which is a joint venture between A+E Networks and BSkyB, with her content commitments being taken over by Dan Korn, the former head of Discovery Channel in the UK who joined A+E as Vice President of Programming in October 2016.
A long-standing and popular member of A+E Networks UK’s programming team, Anastasi has been responsible for some of the company’s biggest international hits. She was responsible for commissioning Dance Mums with Jennifer Ellison, Lifetime’s most successful UK launch to date, as well as Crimes That Shook Britain and Britain’s Darkest Taboos. She recently partnered the broadcaster with Netflix on 10-part crime series I Am A Killer and has also commissioned global series including Four Weddings South Africa for Lifetime.
She has been responsible for developing and driving the programming strategy for Lifetime and CI, across commissioning and acquisitions for the brands in the UK & Ireland, Benelux, Nordics, Central & Eastern Europe, South Africa and the Middle East.
Anastasi played a key role in the international rollout of Lifetime in the UK, SA and Poland in 2013 and 2014, extending her remit across scripted and unscripted programming, with key acquisitions including the premiere of hit US reality show, Real Housewives of New Jersey and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
It follows the departure of History chief Rachel Job last year – Anastasi and Job were two of the best known factual commissioners in the UK. Anastasi has been with the company in a variety of senior roles since 2007.
An A+E Networks spokeswomen told Deadline, “We are in discussions about the future design of the company and the impact this may have on some roles. While consultations with staff are taking place it would be inappropriate to discuss any further.”
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