End credits for Karsch at TCM

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Turner Classic Movies topper Tom Karsch is exiting his post to pursue "new challenges" outside of Turner Broadcasting.

Karsch, who has been executive vp and GM of the channel since 1995, informed the staff Friday of his intention to depart the network.

"I can't adequately express to you my satisfaction and pride in what we have accomplished together," he wrote in a memo. "My time at Turner Classic Movies and the success we've created have made me think and dream bigger, for our business and for myself. I'm anxious to see what else I can do, and with TCM in such a good place and my career at the point it is, this is the time for me to do it. So I'll be leaving TCM and Turner Broadcasting for new challenges."

He added that it wasn't an easy decision but he is looking forward to his next endeavor. He didn't announce his plans.

No replacement has been named, but a representative said that Turner Entertainment Networks president Steve Koonin "will begin reviewing the network's leadership structure and make an announcement when there is news to share."

Under Karsch's leadership, the commercial-free movie network has grown to more than 75 million subscribers and expanded its original programming efforts to include original documentaries and hosted franchises. It also has expanded into Canada as well as on-demand and retail platforms and launched an Internet movie database, TCMdb.

Karsch also has been instrumental in the TCM's continued efforts in film preservation and restoration and established the Young Film Composers Competition, which gives fledgling film composers the opportunity to score silent films from the TCM library.

Karsch got his start at Turner in 1991 as director of sports marketing at TNT. He also has held posts at SportsChannel America, AMC and Showtime.
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