CEO Andrea Wong Out at Lifetime

Departure follows network’s purchase by A&E Television Networks

Andrea Wong is leaving her job as president and CEO of Lifetime Entertainment Services, the network confirmed on Friday.

Wong’s departure has been rumored for months, ever since Lifetime was acquired last August by A&E Television Networks.

"Andrea has been a wonderful leader to Lifetime over the last three years and she has been enormously helpful during the merger of our two companies," A&E Networks chief Abbe Raven said in an e-mail to staffers. "I thank her for her energy, enthusiasm and creativity. Andrea has built a great team and I look forward to working with them closely and continuing the great work that Andrea has accomplished. Andrea has generously agreed to stay on to continue to help in the transition."

The acquisition by A&E was part of a deal between Hearst, Disney and NBC Universal; it made Lifetime a sub-company in the A&E empire.

It also put Wong under the A&E Television Networks fold, responsible to  Raven.

MORE: Dubuc set to replace Wong

In a farewell letter to staffers, Wong said it was an appropriate time for her to move on.

"Now that my role in the acquisition of Lifetime by AETN is concluded, and the integration of the organizations including a more streamlined management structure is nearly complete, I believe that it is the right time for me to step down as President & CEO," she wrote.

Wong joined Lifetime in April 2007 from ABC, where she was executive vice president of alternative programming, specials and late night, developing hits such as "Dancing with the Stars." Wong replaced Betty Cohen atop Lifetime.

It’s been a mixed tenure for Wong at Lifetime. She transformed the network’s image as the home of "Golden Girls" repeats and bad TV movies, launching the hits "Army Wives" (developed by ex-program chief Susanne Daniels) and "Drop Dead Diva" and attracting A-list talent to the channel.

Wong also made a gutsy bet to go after Bravo’s "Project Runway." But a prolonged legal battle and some creative channels resulted in disappointing numbers for the show when it moved to Lifetime.

Wong is not expected to return to ABC-Disney, a person familiar with the situation told TheWrap.

More to read: 

Lifetime Has Trouble Making ‘Runway’ Work

Lifetime’s Andrea Wong: Grilled