Pearson's other shoe drops

Harris out after five-year run; Mackay becomes deputy CEO

The long-expected shakeups hit Pearson Television North America's executive ranks last week.

In a complicated arrangement, Brian Harris resigned as CEO of the international media giant's North American division and gave way to Catherine Mackay, who took on the newly created title of Deputy CEO at Pearson Television North America. Harris, who also held the title of CEO of Pearson Television International, had been with the company for five years.

Mackay, who was previously the president of Pearson Television Enterprises, has also been named CEO of Pearson Television International and Enterprises and will be based in New York. Tony Cohen, who is the CEO of parent company RTL Group, will hold the CEO title at Pearson Television North America, but Mackay will handle day-to-day responsibilities.

"Catherine has an extremely impressive track record in developing businesses and finding new commercial opportunities for Pearson Television brands," says Cohen.

In another new position, David Lyle has been named president of entertainment at Pearson Television North America, responsible for U.S. programming efforts.

Lyle and Cohen inherit a division that has struggled with its first-run efforts of late. It canceled veteran series Baywatch and failed to get Colosseum and Lean Angle launched for fall. Pearson has cleared a new version of Card Sharks and is returning Family Feud and To Tell The Truth.