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FIRST ON VARIETY: Paul Lee replaces Steve McPherson at ABC Entertainment

Paullee 
Stevemcpherson
 
 Well, that suddenly made the TV Critics Assn. press tour interesting.

A major exec shakeup is taking place at the Alphabet net, where ABC Entertainment Group prexy Stephen McPherson has been asked to resign and ABC Family topper Paul Lee has been named his replacement.

McPherson had overseen the Alphabet’s entertainment programming and the ABC Studios operation.

On the programming side, a rising star at Disney has been ABC Family prexy Lee, and some had been eyeing him as a possible candidate for a programming role at ABC.

Read the full story here.

Here’s ABC’s statement on McPherson’s exit:

Steve McPherson today submitted his resignation as President, ABC Entertainment Group, and the Company accepted. Mr. McPherson said, “I want to thank the wonderful team of individuals who have worked with me throughout my time here and wish them nothing but the best.” A replacement for Mr. McPherson will be announced shortly.

And here’s McPherson’s statement — one of the more unusual we’ve seen in all the years we’ve covered execs getting sacked. The wine aficionado says:

“I will be announcing my future plans shortly which will include a new entrepreneurial venture in the spirits business. While I will continue with my ongoing wine business, I’ll also reveal plans for my involvement in a new media company.”

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