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HUB President & CEO Margaret Loesch to Exit

Founding CEO and President of Hub Network Margaret Loesch announces she will step away from her post at the end of the year.

Margaret Loesch, president and CEO of the Hub, the kids network co-owned by Discovery Communications and toymaker Hasbro, is leaving the channel at the end of year, according to a report by Deadline.

Launched in October 2010, the Hub has struggled to compete against Viacom's Nickelodeon empire and Walt Disney Co.'s Disney Channel and Disney XD. The network's ratings have grown, but its audience – nearly 73 million U.S. homes -- is tiny in comparison to its more entrenched rivals. Its most popular shows include My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic and Littlest Pet Shop.

“After five years at the Hub Network as its founding President & CEO, I am announcing that I will be leaving at the end of the year when my contract expires,” Loesch said in a statement. “I am very proud of the work we have done and the accomplishments we have achieved at the Hub. The network is now in excellent financial shape, its ratings are up year-to-year, our programming has won more than 30 awards, including 12 Daytime Emmys, and the Hub Network has become a TV home for quality programming that kids and their families come together to enjoy. I will be working closely with our parent companies, Discovery and Hasbro, to assist in the leadership transition. I want to thank both companies for the opportunity they extended me and thank my wonderful team at the Hub. I have loved my job and am proud of the achievements we’ve made. While my career has spanned over four decades, I look forward to evaluating future opportunities and writing the next chapter.”

During her four decades in the kids programming business, Loesch has overseen the development or production of such hits as Smurfs, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, X-Men, Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies, Animaniacs, Transformers and Bear in the Big Blue House. She was the first President and CEO of Crown Media United States, responsible for the creation of its Hallmark Channel; and President of Television, Worldwide, of the Jim Henson Group. Loesch was the founding President and CEO of Fox Kids Network, Worldwide. Prior to that she was President and CEO of Marvel Comics’ film production arm, Marvel Prods., and EVP of Hanna-Barbera Prods.

“Margaret is a terrific executive and a terrific leader,” Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav said. “She has done a superb job at the Hub and we are sorry to see her go. We’re confident in the team that is there now and we know that this platform has its best days ahead.”

There’s no word yet on a successor, as Discovery intends to mount a search with Loesch’s assistance.

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