BBC AMERICA founder and former CEO Paul Lee has been named president of ABC Entertainment Group, taking over from the much-maligned Steve McPherson, who has apparently resigned to go stomp some grapes. Lee had been president of ABC Family from 2004 up until yesterday when the news broke of McPherson’s departure.
Yes, if it weren’t for Paul Lee, BBC AMERICA wouldn’t exist – the British-born, Oxford-educated exec founded our network back in 1998, and its success helped make him a U.S. media superstar. Some background info from his ABC Family press bio:
Prior to joining ABC Family in April 2004, Lee was chief executive officer and founder of BBC America, and was responsible for the development and launch of the company in March 1998, starting as general manager and chief operating officer. During his tenure, the hit comedy series The Office (British version) garnered two Golden Globes®. Other shows under Lee’s supervision included the BBC’s Changing Rooms, which formatted into TLC’s signature show, Trading Spaces, What Not to Wear and The Graham Norton Show. BBC America, since its initial launch in 1998, is now in *50 million homes.
*Ahem, correction: we’re in nearly 70 million homes now. Just call me Anderson Cooper, folks. Keeping ‘em honest.
Well, congrats to Mr. Lee: the longtime vets here have great things to say about him, his ABC Family tenure has been filled with success, and I’m sure he’ll accomplish a lot as HBIC (Head Brit-in-Charge) at ABC Entertainment Group.