Hub Network Chief Margaret Loesch to Exit
Margaret Loesch is exiting her role as president and CEO of Hub Network, which is jointly owned by Discovery Communications and toy company Hasbro. The network targets kids 2-6 during the day, and then kids 2-11 in primetime and is very successful at attracting parents to watch with the kids.
Loesch revealed her decision Thursday morning.
"After five years at the Hub Network as its founding president and CEO, I am announcing that I will be leaving at the end of the year when my contract expires," she 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."
Hub network airs a mix of animated and live-action programming. Its schedule includes such cartoons as Strawberry Shortcake's Berry Bitty Adventures, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and Transformers: Rescue Bots, along with game show Family Game Night and reruns of such shows as Step by Step, Family Ties and Sister, Sister. It recently announced that Blossom will be added to the schedule next month.
Her replacement was not named, and Loesch did not reveal any future plans beyond helping with the transition in the coming months.
"I will be working closely with our parent companies, Discovery and Hasbro, to assist in the leadership transition," she said. "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."
After nearly four years in its current form, Loesch leaves Hub in a solid position. In April, Hasbro reported that its 50 percent share of the network delivered a profit in the first quarter of the year $1.3 million compared to a loss of $1.1 million in the same quarter during 2013.
While it isn’t beating the bigger, longer established channel groups like Disney and Nickelodeon, Hub has shown growth, with ratings up overall in each of the last eight quarters.
Hub competes during the day for younger children with Disney Junior, Nick Jr., Cartoon Network, Sprout and others. It has separated itself by being the top-rated channel when it comes to co-viewing – where a parent watches alongside the child. The top shows co-viewed include My Little Pony and Transformers (currently in reruns).
It also goes for a family audience in the evening, competing with ABC Family network and a few others, with programming designed to be watched by all ages, including a nightly G or PG movie.
Loesch was the first president and CEO of Crown Media United States, where she helped create and launch Hallmark Channel. She was also founding president and CEO of Fox Kids Network and has served as president of television, worldwide, of the Jim Henson Group.