EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that OWN SVP programming and development Rod Aissa is leaving Oprah Winfrey’s cable network to join rival Oxygen as head of programming. Aissa is expected to succeed Amy Introcaso-Davis, who last month departed her post as SVP Original Programming and Development at Oxygen Media to become EVP Programming at Game Show Network. This is the latest departure of a high-level programming executive from the fledgling OWN, co-venture between Discovery Communications and Winfrey’s Harpo, and the first since Winfrey took over the channel as CEO in July. (At a Discovery level, COO Peter Liguori, who used to oversee OWN, recently left the company.) Ironically, Winfrey, who co-owns OWN, co-owned Oxygen before it became part of NBCUniversal. Aissa, who joined OWN in March 2010, has served as SVP, programming and development, primetime and, along with Michele Dix, has overseen all programming and development for the network. He was one of the programming executives who joined OWN after having worked with the network’s former CEO Christina Norman at MTV. Norman departed OWN in May. Before OWN, Aissa served as EVP, TV at Ashton Kutcher’s Katalyst production company and as EVP, series and talent development, MTV/MTV Films where he won an Emmy for his work on The Osbournes.
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