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CBS, Lionsgate tap Brad Schwartz to program TV Guide Network

April 15, 2013|By Meg James
  • Brad Schwartz was named president of entertainment and media for the TV Guide Network.
Brad Schwartz was named president of entertainment and media for the TV… (John P. Filo / CBS )

CBS Corp. and Lionsgate have made their first major hire for the TV Guide Network, tapping Brad Schwartz as president of entertainment and media for the recently formed programming venture.

Schwartz will be responsible for programming, scheduling and marketing. Before joining TVGN, Schwartz worked as a programming executive at Fuse, the music network owned by MSG Media. The native of Toronto also has had stints in programming at CTV in Canada and Viacom's MTV.

The 42-year-old Schwartz was drafted, in part, because of his "hip sensibility," Lionsgate Chief Executive Jon Feltheimer said in a statement announcing the appointment Monday.

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“He has his finger on the pulse of pop culture and is ideally qualified to help TVGN fulfill its promise as a premiere destination for celebrating the world of entertainment," Feltheimer said.

The 32-year-old TV Guide Network has struggled trying to step beyond the shadow of its iconic namesake, which launched more than 50 years ago as a national magazine brimming with listings of TV shows, featuring a brief episode synopsis and time period for each show.

Lionsgate and CBS executives have not disclosed how they plan to rebrand the channel, which still is contractually obligated to run the rolling scroll of TV channel locations and program information in approximately 10% of the 80 million homes that receive the channel.

TVGN is acquiring rerun rights for the No. 1 daytime drama, "The Young & the Restless," which runs on CBS.

In a deal announced late last month, CBS acquired 50% of the channel for a little more than $100 million. Lionsgate and its previous partners had hoped to unload the channel for $350 million -- but that proved impossible.

Schwartz will report to the venture's board of directors.

“This partnership is all about improving a property that has tremendous potential,” Leslie Moonves, chief executive of CBS Corp. said in a statement. “The key to that improvement will be growing the quality of the programming offered to the more than 80 million viewers who have access to TVGN."

TVGN also announced that its interim president, Dennis Miller, had shifted responsibilities and would serve as president of operations, in charge of finance and affiliate relations. The advertising sales department will jointly report to Miller and Schwartz.

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