Game over for Cronin as winning GSN chief

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GSN president and CEO Rich Cronin said Tuesday that he is departing the network at the end of the month.

Cronin, who joined the network as president and CEO in 2001 after Liberty Media Corp. bought half the company from Sony Pictures Entertainment, did not give a reason for his departure in a statement.

"I am honored to have led a great team of creative business people in pioneering interactive television games and in growing GSN so dramatically," Cronin said. "Together we have built a strong business that combines GSN television, GSN.com, mobile/text participation and other digital media."

Until his exit from the company, Cronin will continue to work closely with the GSN team and with clients to ensure a smooth transition. GSN said it expects to name Cronin's successor within the next few weeks.

During Cronin's six years as head of GSN, he brought the network to profitability; GSN expanded its distribution from 31 million to 64 million homes; the network pioneered interactive TV games and participation TV in the U.S.; and GSN.com was transformed from a promotional site into a destination for interactive play-along and online casual and cash games.

GSN board member Steve Mosko, who is president of Sony Pictures Television, said, "We appreciate everything Rich has done to build GSN and bring it to profitability in a very competitive environment."

Added GSN board member and Liberty Media senior vp Michael Zeisser: "I want to thank Rich for all his hard work and success in building GSN into the top U.S. network for interactive television games, while growing GSN.com into a new destination for online games. Rich and the entire GSN team have done an exceptional job."
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