Bob Tuschman, the veteran programmer whose time at Food Network dates back to the days before it featured Paula Deen, will leave the Scripps Networks-owned cable outlet at the end of the month, and will be replaced by Deirdre “Didi” O’Hearn, who will serve as senior vice president, programming and development for the network and its sister outlet, Cooking Channel.
The move is the latest in a series of changes made at Scripps since Kathleen Finch was appointed the company’s chief programming, content and brand officer in August. Brooke Johnson, who supervised programming at Food Network for more than a decade, introducing more reality-competition programs and shows featuring celebrities who were not chefs, stepped down from her post last August as well.
“Since joining Food Network and Cooking Channel in 2014, it was quickly apparent that Didi’s skills and expertise represent exactly the creative leadership our beloved brands require,” said Finch in a statement. “She was a driving force behind 2015’s successful programming slate, with titles such as ‘Chopped Junior’ and ‘Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition’ as just two examples of Didi’s creative instinct driving double-digit ratings gains. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have such a talented and well-respected executive seated next to me as we look ahead for future growth opportunities.”
In her new role, O’Hearn will oversee the programming team, lead development strategy for programming across both nets, in addition to identifying and developing new network talent, and managing relationships with outside production partners.
O’Hearn previously served as vice president, development and talent, for WE tv. Prior to that, she served as vice president at the New York office of non-fiction media producer Darlow Smithson Productions, and also held numerous roles at A&E Television Networks, most recently as vice president of Non-Fiction and Alternative Programming.
Tuschman, who joined the company in 1998, was also a familiar figure in front of the camera at the network, having served as a judge on competition series “Food Network Star.”