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Schaer to top USA’s syndies

Exec VP juggling biz, creative duties

Valerie Schaer is ankling her post at ABC Daytime to join Barry Diller’s Studios USA as its Gotham-based head of syndie programming and development.

Studios USA is expected to announce the hire today.

As exec VP of Studios USA Domestic TV, Schaer will juggle business and creative duties in overseeing all development and production for the syndie wing. She’ll report to Steve Rosenberg, prexy of Studios USA Domestic TV.

“I love what Barry Diller has been doing with this growing company, and I think they have terrific people in place. I’m looking forward to developing new programs and getting involved with their current slate,” Schaer told Daily Variety on Tuesday.

Developed ‘View’

Schaer joined ABC’s ayem wing in 1995 as senior VP of production and reality programming. She developed the Alphabet’s recent daytime success story “The View,” as well as overseeing the production of ABC sudsers “All My Children,” “One Life to Live,” “Port Charles” and “General Hospital.”

Additionally, Schaer was responsible for the division’s finance and administration, overseeing an annual operating budget of $250 million.

Schaer’s departure from ABC was spurred in part by the web’s decision to relocate most of its East Coast operations to the new Southern California HQ under construction in Glendale, near Disney’s Burbank home base.

Before ABC, Schaer held a wide range of programming and production posts, serving stints with Viacom New Media, Lifetime TV, A&E Network and the Special Report Network. In the mid-1980s, she was supervising producer of the Peabody-winning PBS kidvid newsmag “Children’s Express.”

Programming head

At Studios USA, Schaer will head a programming team that includes Lonnie Burstein, West Coast senior veep of programming and development, and Susan Krakower, who has been upped from veep to senior veep of programming and development on the East Coast.

Also reporting to Schaer is Richard Ross, who has just advanced from VP to senior veepee of production, based in Gotham.

Studios USA’s existing syndie slate includes the talkers “Sally Jessy Raphael,” “Maury” and “Jerry Springer Show,” as well as the weekly actioners “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” and “Xena: Warrior Princess.”

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