ABC Affiliates Board Chairman Bill Hoffman thanked outgoing ABC Entertainment Group President Steve McPherson for a job well done during McPherson's six years of heading up the network's entertainment division.
"Steve's done a real good job of sustaining ABC's lineup," says Hoffman, who is vice president and general manager at Cox's WSB Atlanta. "I tip my cap to the creative efforts he's made."
McPherson submitted his resignation late yesterday, saying he would pursue something entrepreneurial related to the spirits business as well as a new media opportunity. It is expected that ABC will announce ABC Family chief Paul Lee as his replacement.
McPherson is credited for, among other things, hatching a comedy block on Wednesdays, which includes The Middle, Modern Family and Cougar Town. Birthing comedies with staying power is an extraordinary accomplishment amidst the networks' years-long sitcom drought.
Hoffman credits McPherson for giving ABC's prime its quirky quality. "The shows are a little bit different," says Hoffman, adding, "Steve has served the affiliate group well during his tour of duty."
The chairman of the affiliates body expressed confidence in Disney Media Networks Co-Chair/Disney-ABC Television Group President Anne Sweeney finding the ideal successor for McPherson. Asked what he would say to the incoming entertainment chief, Hoffman replied, "Call me," with a laugh. "I have lots of ideas."
ABC is scheduled to present its new programs to TV critics Aug. 1 at the Television Critics Association (TCA) summer press tour in Los Angeles.