Just days before the start of the new fall season, one of ABC's
top marketers is stepping down and the network's new chief programmer says he
wants to go in a new direction in promoting ABC's shows.
Mike Benson, executive VP, marketing, for ABC Entertainment
Group is the third top executive to leave the network recently. Steve
McPherson, head of programming stepped down in July, and ABC News President David Westin announced
he was moving on earlier this week.
Paul Lee, the newly minted head of ABC Entertainment, sent a
memo to staffers Friday, saying that "at this point in our progress, my
priority is our marketing effort, specifically taking it in a new direction.
Effective immediately, and for the foreseeable future, I will take a more
active role in overseeing the strategic direction of the group."
As a result he said, Benson would be leaving the company.
Marla Provencio, who was co-executive VP, marketing, with
Benson, is staying in her post, according to the ABC spokesperson, who also
confirmed Benson's departure.
Benson was named to his current title last year. He'd
been with ABC for 12 years and last season was credited with helping to launch
the Emmy-winning comedy Modern Family.
He joined ABC from MTV Networks.
The story was first reported by New York Magazine's
Vulture Web site.