John Saade, the executive vice president, alternative series & late-night programming, is exiting the network, marking the latest in a round of reality-TV executive departures.
No reason was given for the departure, and no replacement has yet been announced — though an individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap that former E! Entertainment programming president Lisa Berger is being considered for the position.
Berger, who left E! in January after nine years with the company, was responsible for hits such as “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and “Chelsea Lately.”
Saade, who assumed his position in June 2011, had previously served as senior vice president, alternative series, specials & late night for ABC Entertainment. He was instrumental in developing and overseeing such reality offerings as “Dancing With the Stars,” “Wipeout,” “The Bachelor” and “Extreme Makeover.” He was also on the team that launched “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
This marks the third network reality chief to depart since May. Fox’s Mike Darnell (now at Warner Bros.) exited this spring, while Jennifer Bresnan announced last month that she’d be stepping down in late summer — though she will remain on with the network in some capacity after relocating to be with her family on the East Coast.
ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee said that the network will “miss (Saade’s) passion and enthusiasm.”
“John is a very talented executive who has made enormous contributions to ABC and the reality genre, developing some truly innovative, buzz worthy programming and growing some of our most important franchises,” Lee said in a statement. “We will miss his passion and enthusiasm and wish him nothing but the very best.”