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Shephard ankling ABC

ABC’s vice president of drama programming, Greer Shephard, is ankling Friday after 5-1/2 years at the network.

“I’m leaving for very personal reasons,” Shephard said. “I want to elude the burn-out that plagues executives that stay in these jobs too long.”

No replacement has been named, and Shephard is taking time off before deciding her next move. She said she’s interested in getting “closer to the creative process,” and she may seek a producing position somewhere.

Shephard joined ABC in 1991 as associate director of current series programming, rising to VP in 1995. When ABC Entertainment President Jamie Tarses came aboard, she reorganized the entertainment division into teams and kept Shephard as head of drama programming.

Sources say Shephard was never entirely comfortable with the new ABC regime, though, and her position may have been weakened when Rob Dwek was brought in as the No. 2 executive to Tarses.

Dwek’s background is largely in drama. He developed the dramas “Gun” and “Cracker” for ABC while he was at Kushner-Locke. During her tenure at ABC, Shephard also helped develop those dramas and others.

In a statement, Tarses said Shephard will be “sorely missed.” Sources said ABC has approached at least one studio exec about taking the top drama job, but no deal has been finalized yet.

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