Mackay ankles Fremantle

It's unclear whether exec will be replaced

NEW YORK — After 10 years with FremantleMedia, Catherine Mackay is exiting to become CEO of a new Internet search engine.

Mackay will step down as CEO of FremantleMedia’s Enterprises and New Platforms divisions and as a FremantleMedia operating board member, effective immediately.

“In her time with the company she has had a profound impact on the overall development of FremantleMedia, both on its strategy and as a divisional CEO where she has been responsible for a very significant proportion of the company’s total profits,” FremantleMedia CEO Tony Cohen said in a statement.

Insiders suggested that Mackay, who was based in New York, found herself removed from the U.S. action, especially after Cecile Frot-Coutaz took the reigns as Fremantle North America CEO in Hollywood. Frot-Coutaz reports to Cohen in London as did Mackay.

The L.A. office handles “American Idol,” “The Price Is Right” and a new English-language telenovela project, which is being readied for ABC.

” ‘New platforms’ is still a very fuzzy area for many traditional media companies,” one of these insiders said.

Mackay’s many roles have included being the regional CEO for FremantleMedia’s businesses in the U.S., Australia and Asia, during some of their most successful years.

In addition, she drove the growth of the Enterprises divisions, which she established some years ago.

In the late 1990s Mackay played an integral role in establishing FremantleMedia’s business in the U.S. and in Asia, which is where she was based when she joined the company in 1995.

It’s unclear whether MacKay will be replaced or whether her duties will be absorbed by other execs.

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