No Friendly persuasion

King World loses programming president after a six-year run

Andy Friendly, King World's president of programming and production, is leaving the Viacom-owned syndication giant after a six-year run to pursue other interests.

Friendly is the latest King World executive to leave since the company's merger with CBS last year.

That list includes new NBC Enterprises President Ed Wilson and Twentieth Television head Bob Cook. Friendly let King World executives know last November that he would forgo a renewal on his contract, which expires later this year.

"The one thing we did is build quality shows. Not all of them worked; some broke my heart. But I'm very proud of the teams we built and the work we did," says Friendly, who is the son of legendary CBS News producer Fred Friendly.

In 1995, Friendly joined King World as executive vice president of programming and production, overseeing all of the studio's first-run programming, including Hollywood Squares, Inside Edition, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. Also during that time, King World launched The Martin Short Show and The Roseanne Show. Those two were unqualified bombs.

Friendly says that he will move into a consulting position with King World for the remainder of the year and that he's going to teach a TV class at his alma mater, the University of Southern California.

Prior to joining King World, Friendly was executive producer and vice president of prime time programs at CNBC. A King World spokeswoman says a senior-level executive will be named soon in the programming and development department.