ABC Family president named ABC Entertainment Group president

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Angela Weiss/Getty Images

President of ABC Family Paul Lee attends the HRTS and Academy of TV & Sciences 'State of the Industry' newsmaker luncheon at The Beverly Hilton on June 23, 2010 in Beverly Hills, California.

ABC Family President Paul Lee was named today as president of the ABC Entertainment Group, succeeding Steve McPherson, who resigned three days ago.

Lee will oversee ABC's primetime programming and ABC Studios, the Walt
Disney Co.-owned television production company.

Lee was president of the ABC Family cable channel for six years, developing such programs as "Kyle XY,'' "The Secret Life of the American Teenager,'' "Pretty Little Liars,'' "Greek,'' "Make It or Break It'' and "Huge.''

ABC Family is third-most watched cable network in prime time this season among viewers ages 12-17, second among females ages 12-34 and fourth among women ages 18-34.

"Paul was hired six years ago because of his great creative instincts and his ability to identify an audience and develop programming that resonates with them, and those same strengths are why he was tapped for this new responsibility,'' said Anne Sweeney, co-chairman of Disney/ABC Media Networks and president of the Disney/ABC Television Group.

"Paul's success at ABC Family is as amazing as it is indisputable and I'm looking forward to his continued success on ABC,'' she said.

Lee called ABC "a great network defined by creativity and known for delivering some of the best shows on television.''

"I'm excited to be part of it and deeply honored to be chosen for the unique opportunity to lead the network and the brand into the future,'' he said.

Lee joins a network that finished third among total viewers this season and tied NBC for third among viewers ages 18-49 -- the group Fox Broadcasting and NBC also target and advertisers covet because they watch less television and are harder to reach.

Before joining ABC Family, Lee was chief executive officer and founder of the BBC America cable channel; held several positions with the British Broadcasting Corp., including as a reporter in Northern Ireland; and was an assistant production manager on telenovelas for Brazil's Rede Globo network.

KPCC wire services contributed to this report.

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