Less than a half hour after posting a blurb with the headlines “Changes Imminent at ABC?” on Deadline.com, the headline was changed to “Steve McPherson Resigning!” with a note that details would follow.

That’s a case where the headline is about enough detail.  With ABC looking to perhaps finish in the basement in the primetime ratings this fall, trailing even NBC, his exit would hardly be a surprise.

McPherson “leaving to pursue other interests” or “spend more time with my family,” or whatever they wind up saying,  follows a time-honored television practice: ouster an executive, spend the next 18 months blaming everything bad that’s happened on the old regime and hoping for a turnaround by the 19th month.

Updates:

6:35p PT:  multiple reports confirming ABC Family president Paul Lee will be taking over McPherson’s role.

good summary of how it likely went down via @TVMoJoe

Via Variety: Speculation is mounting inside Disney that ABC Family prexy Paul Lee will be promoted to a top programming job at ABC.

Here is the resignation statement from ABC:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Statement on behalf of the Disney/ABC Television Group:

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.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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