RAI Fiction director Sacca steps down


MILAN, Italy -- Agostino Sacca, director of state television's RAI Fiction, has announced that he has "suspended himself," or temporarily resigned.

The resignation follows widely reported allegations in the Italian press that he, along with media magnate and leader of the opposition, Silvio Berlusconi, is under investigation by magistrates in Naples.

According to the Italian press, the investigation concerns a telephone conversation (that was allegedly taped by investigators) between the two men, in which Berlusconi asked Sacca to find work for four young actresses in RAI TV dramas.

The purpose of this favor, it is alleged, would have been to help Sen. Nono Randazzo, a member of the Romano Prodi-led center-left government coalition's fragile senate majority. It is alleged that Randazzo, who was supporting the four actresses' careers, would switch his support to Berlusconi's opposition coalition, thereby causing the Prodi government to fall.

RAI has not announced plans to replace Sacca, who has held the post since April 2003. Before 2003, he was director general of RAI.