Steve McPherson Resigns Entertainment Chief post before New season

Posted by on Jul 28, 2010 | Leave a Comment

President of its ABC Entertainment unit, Steve McPherson has abruptly resigned from the network after repeated clashes with his bosses and less than two months before the network’s new television season begins. He worked six-year tenure with ABC Network, in which the network aired such provocative series as “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost” but ended last season in third place among the big four networks.

Steve McPherson

President of ABC Family, Paul Lee increased ratings of the cable channel with hits, which includes “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” and “Pretty Little Liars,” was extensively reported success similar to the McPherson. Lee was chief executive officer and founder of BBC America before joining ABC Family in 2004. Previously, he had worked at the BBC in England and been a reporter, TV producer and director.

California-based Disney said in an e-mailed statement, “A replacement for McPherson will be named shortly, Burbank”. The Disney-ABC Television Group said in a brief statement Tuesday, “McPherson submitted his resignation as ABC Entertainment Group president and the company accepted.” According to the statement, in which McPherson was quoted as thanking the people with whom he’d worked, “His replacement will be proclaimed soon”.

McPherson’s exit from the top programming job at ABC comes just days before the network’s presentation of its fall schedule to a meeting of TV reporters and critics. According to Nielsen Co., “ABC is adding six dramas to its schedule starting in September after “Lost,” the network’s fifth-highest-rated scripted show, concluded a six-year run in May. The network was the only major U.S. broadcaster whose total audience declined last season, and it’s also down among viewers aged 18 to 49, a group sought by advertisers.

Director of research at New York-based advertising firm Horizon Media Inc, Brad Adgate said in an interview, “McPherson has had a couple of bad seasons,” and “He never got his footing back after the writers’ strike.” “The timing of the change is awkward for Disney,” Adgate said. With critics in Beverly Hills, California, TV networks are meeting this week to preview their schedules for the season that starts in September. ABC plans to make its presentation on Aug. 1.

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