Game Show Network finally signed ex-Fox Family Channel President Rich
Cronin as president and CEO.
Cronin will replace Mike Fleming, who is leaving the network but is considering possibilities at GSN's founder Sony Pictures.
Cronin will be charged with juising up GSN's programming, particularly preparing for wider deployment of interactive television, a natural fit with game shows. Cronin said that he considers GSN to be in farily strong shape, despite having 35 million subscribers after seven years and relatively weak ratings.
'The distribution growth was slow in the first few years, but there are a lot of networks that would kill for 35 milliion homes.' He noted that GSN's average 0.6 rating is in the same ballpark as such networks as E! and VH1.
Before getting ousted from Fox Family last year, Cronin was president and founder of TV Land. He belieeves that his background at TV Land and Nick-At-Nite makes him well suited for GSN, whose most popular programming is reruns of old game shows.
One goal is to draw a younger audience, since GSN's current shows tend to skew 50-plus. That will partly come through marketing: 'I don't want to alienate the existing audience. It's going to be more of an evolution.'
- John Higgins