Steve McPherson out in pre-season shakeup at ABC


Disney’s ABC announced that Steve McPherson had resigned as President, ABC Entertainment Group. His departure just weeks before the beginning of a new TV season came amid rumors, which he apparently became aware of, that the network was preparing to replace him.

“I want to thank the wonderful team of individuals who have worked with me throughout my time here and wish them nothing but the best,” said McPherson in a departure statement distributed by ABC.

McPherson, who had spent six years in the top programming post at the network, later released another statement saying he would soon announce a “new entrepreneurial venture in the spirits business” and his “involvement in a new media company.”

ABC said his successor would be named soon. There were quickly several reports that the top contender is Paul Lee, President of ABC Family.

During McPherson’s tenure he rolled out such hits as “Desperate Housewives” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” but ABC was in third place overall in the key 18-49 demo for the past season, beating only hapless NBC.