Ryan O’Hara is out as president of TV Guide Network, the biggest exec change at channel since it was acquired last year by Lionsgate and a group of equity partners.
O’Hara, who also oversaw TVGuide.com, has already lined up a new position at another company and will announce his plans next week, the network said. His departure after nearly five years heading the channel comes as TV Guide Network continues to expand its focus beyond E! – style infotainment series.
"Ryan and his management team have led TV Guide Network to a strong year of growth in both programming and distribution," said Jon Feltheimer, co-chair and CEO of Lionsgate. "He has been a key architect of the channel’s continued evolution into a fully distributed, full screen general entertainment network that will play an important role in the cable landscape of the future."
Lionsgate and One Equity Partners, which now jointly operate TV Guide Network, had already been making changes to the exec lineup at the channel that hinted at the channel’s changing direction. Most recently, they brought in Diane Robina, president of the Lionsgate/Sony/Comcast-controlled FEARnet, to serve as executive VP of development, acquisition and programming strategy for TV Guide Network.
Robina was front and center for TV Guide Network last month during an informal press lunch Lionsgate held at NATPE in Las Vegas.
Other program shifts since the new owners took over at TV Guide Network include the acquistions of scripted series "Ugly Betty" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm."
TV Guide Network has never really been able to break through as a major player in the unscripted space, with its few attempts at launching reality series and talk shows quickly failing. It’ll also be interesting to see if Lionsgate and One Equity decide to rebrand the channel, which is still seen by many viewers as a listings guide.
Feltheimer and TV Guide Network board chairman Allen Shapiro will oversee the remaining exec team in the wake of O’Hara’s exit.