Del Noce tapped as RAI Fiction chief

Move makes Sacca's return to his post unlikely

GENEVA, Switzerland -- The director of Italian state broadcaster RAI on Thursday nominated Fabrizio del Noce to take over as the new head of the RAI Fiction unit.

Noce's appointment makes it much less likely that former RAI Fiction head Agostino Sacca will return to his old job.

Sacca, a longtime associate of Italian Prime Minister and Mediaset founder Silvio Berlusconi, was fired last year after wiretaps revealed illegal conversations between the two men over the casting of a RAI soap opera. Sacca never got his day in court, and on July 15, an administrative court ruled that he should be returned to his old job.

But RAI director Claudio Cappon opposed the move and threatened to fire Sacca again if he showed up to work. On Thursday, Cappon instead nominated the well-regarded del Noce for the job, an appointment that must still be approved by RAI's directors.

Cappon's gambit makes Sacca's return to the head of RAI Fiction less much likely, though it does not rule out the possibility that Sacca could yet return to RAI in another capacity.