Following days of speculation, Paul Lee was officially named president of ABC Entertainment Group, effective immediately.
The announcement was made mid-day announcement Friday by Anne Sweeney, Co-Chairman Disney/ABC Media Networks and President, Disney/ABC Television Group. Lee is set to lead the network's executive session Sunday morning at the TCA press tour.
The former ABC Family president directly replaces Steve McPherson, who resigned from the position Tuesday afternoon. Speculation that Lee would take over for McPherson began at the point, and since then insiders also have been speculating about who would replace Lee. A decision about Lee's successor "will be made in the near future," according to Sweeney's announcement.
Sources noted this week that former ABC and Lifetime exec Andrea Wong is certain to find a new spot amid the changes at the Disney/ABC TV Group, perhaps as Lee's successor at ABC Family. Tom Zappala, executive vice president, program acquisitions and scheduling, ABC Cable Networks Group, has also been mentioned as a "dark horse" to replace Lee.
In his new role, Lee has oversight of all creative and business operations for ABC Studios, as well as all development, programming, marketing and scheduling operations for ABC Entertainment.
In a statement, Sweeney said: "Paul was hired six years ago because of his great creative instincts and his ability to identify an audience and develop programming that resonates with them, and those same strengths are why he was
tapped for this new responsibility. Paul's success at ABC Family is as amazing as it is indisputable, and I'm looking forward to his continued success on ABC."