From ABC Medianet
As president of ABC Entertainment, Stephen McPherson has been the driving force behind the network's
primetime comeback, with a strategy focused on quality content and a willingness to rebuild and redirect key units, including
drama, alternative, development and marketing to support and deliver that content.
Mr. McPherson assumed his current role
in April 2004 and has led ABC into a new era. This past fall, without the benefit of "Monday Night Football," ABC won the
November Sweep with the key demo of Adults 18-49 for the first time in seven years. Continuing the momentum, in May ABC garnered
its most-watched May Sweep in six years and was the only network to show year-to-year increases in both Total Viewers and
Adults 18-49. Under Mr. McPherson's guidance, ABC became a primetime force on Thursday nights and launched the break-out hit
of the 2006 season, the critically acclaimed and Emmy-nominated "Ugly Betty." "Ugly Betty" is the most-watched new Fall comedy
of the season on any network with both Total Viewers and Adults 18-49. The show's success is a result of Mr. McPherson's winning
strategy for the season, implementing strong and innovative marketing campaigns and using the promotional platform of returning
hit shows to provide a strong launch for freshman series.
For the 2004-05 season, his first at ABC Entertainment, Mr.
McPherson leveraged his studio success to anchor ABC's primetime lineup with two shows he developed at Touchstone, "Lost"
and "Desperate Housewives." Spurred by the victory of these new series, as well as the immense popularity of "Extreme Makeover:
Home Edition," ABC achieved the largest season-to-season increase in viewers among the key young adult demographic of any
major network in the last 25 years.
Mr. McPherson continued the momentum into the 2005-06 season, when another of his Touchstone
projects, "Grey's Anatomy," became the nation's No. 1 show and the new alternative series, "Dancing with the Stars," became
a cultural phenomenon. Under his leadership, ABC delivered improved ratings across the primetime schedule for the second season
in a row.
Mr. McPherson reports to Anne Sweeney, co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president, Disney-ABC Television
Group, and is responsible for all development, current programming, late-night, marketing and scheduling for the Entertainment
division of the ABC Television Network.
Prior to joining ABC, he was president of Touchstone Television, where he guided
Touchstone to the three best development seasons in the company's history. In that role he led the development and production
of the division's network primetime series, specials and films, and was responsible for all day-to-day operations of the studio.
He originally joined Touchstone as an executive vice president of the studio.
During his tenure at Touchstone, Mr. McPherson
developed several other successful series for the network, including "Alias," "8 Simple Rules," "According to Jim," My Wife
and Kids," "Hope & Faith," "Less than Perfect," "Once and Again" and "The Job."
He and his team also developed the
successful "CSI" drama franchise and the award-winning alternative series "Amazing Race" for CBS, as well as NBC's critically
acclaimed comedy "Scrubs," and "Monk," which became a hit for the USA network.
Prior to joining Touchstone Television,
Mr. McPherson was vice president, Primetime Series at NBC, where he oversaw the development and production of such shows as
"NewsRadio" and "Just Shoot Me." Before joining NBC, he was senior vice president, Creative Affairs of ABC
where he supervised both comedy and drama series, including "My So Called Life" and "The Commish." He also served as director,
Current Programming for FOX, where he helped launch "Martin" and "The Ben Stiller Show." He began his industry career as director
of Development for Witt-Thomas-Harris Productions.
Mr. McPherson has been recognized for his achievements and honored with
several awards, including the Directors Guild of America's 2005 Diversity Award, honoring his outstanding commitment to and
leadership in the hiring of women and minorities in DGA categories. This is only the fourth time that the Award has been bestowed.
This past August he received the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Committee on Diversity's first Televisionary Award
in recognition of his commitment to diversity both on-screen and behind the scenes in the 2004-05 television season. In January
he received the Executive of the Year Award for 2005 from the Caucus for Television Producers, Writers & Directors for
his contribution to the industry. He was also named the 2006 Television Showman of the Year at the International Cinematographers
Guild 43rd Annual Publicists Awards in March, in recognition of his outstanding stewardship of the network in 2005.
McPherson's efforts extend beyond the television industry. In addition to being honored by the Los Angeles Free Clinic at
its Annual Dinner Gala in 2005, he is also an active member of its board.
Mr. McPherson is a graduate of Cornell University,
with a BA in Political Science.