ABC Entertainment just got its big first casualty under new president Paul Lee: Mike Benson, one of the two execs who run the marketing division, is stepping down.
"Paul is going in a new direction, and Mike has decided to step down," an ABC spokesperson told The Wrap.
Benson joined ABC in June 1998 and became executive vice president of ABC entertainment group in June 2009. In that capacity he oversaw all marketing activities for ABC's primetime and late night lineups, along with Marla Provencio.
Provencio is sticking around; she will continue to report to Lee.
Benson came to ABC from VH1/MTV Networks, where he was senior vice president of promotion and program planning.
He was promoted to executive vice president of marketing at ABC Entertainment in February 2007. He was credited with guiding the launches of a string of ABC hits including "Modern Family," "Desperate Housewives," "Lost," "Ugly Betty" and "Grey's Anatomy."
His exit is the first high-profile departure at ABC Entertainment since Paul Lee took over in late July. Lee replaced Steve McPherson, who abruptly resigned July 27 amid reports of a sexual harassment investigation. McPherson had been ABC entertainment president since 2004.
News of Benson's departure was first reported by New York Magazine's Vulture blog.