News has broken today from Deadline that Margaret Loesch will be moving on from her position as President and CEO of the Hub Network after her contract with the channel expires at the end of 2014.
A veteran of the television business for over 40 years, Loesch has helmed the Hub Network since its advent in 2009 when Discovery Communications and Hasbro Inc announced plans to launch a channel to replace Discovery Kids and offer family programming to compete with the likes of Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and the Disney Channel. Throughout its life the Hub Network has offered a variety of animated and live-action programming, most notably The Aquabats! Super Show!, Transformers Prime and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic in terms of success for the channel.
Outside of her time at the Hub Network Loesch most closely worked with animated programming during her time running the Fox Kids programming block from 1990 to 1997, which included such animated fare as The Pirates of Dark Water, Batman: The Animated Series, X-Men, Spider-Man, Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs and Beast Wars: Transformers during that time period.
Loesch’s tenure at the channel since it debuted as “The Hub” in 2010 has been marked by its fair share of successes. The network reaches 73 million U.S. households compared to the approximate 60 million it was projected to reach when it started, while in her statements to Deadline Loesch notes the Hub Network’s “excellent financial shape” and award-winning record that includes 12 Daytime Emmys for its programming. The Hub Network has experienced steady year-to-year ratings growth and now turns a profit.
Even so, Loesch’s departure leaves a considerable void and invites speculation about the channel’s future at a time when rumors lurk about a possible rebrand and the network is challenged to make major inroads into a children’s television market still dominated by its entrenched rivals on cable in terms of total viewers. Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva reports that Discovery’s Tom Cosgrove is being floated as a possible successor to Loesch, but so far representatives for the network have had no comment about what comes next.
For her part Loesch speaks of working with Discovery and Hasbro to “assist in the leadership transition” for the channel and “writing the next chapter” of her career, indicating that she has no intention of moving on from the Hub Network just to retire. For a short time at least, the futures of both Loesch and the Hub Network are not written yet.
[via Nick and More!]