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McPherson hires lawyer Marty Singer to take on bad press

July 29, 2010 |  5:07 pm

Former ABC Entertainment chief Steve McPherson has retained well-known lawyer Marty Singer to combat a rash of negative stories that have appeared about the executive's tenure at the network.

"Steve McPherson is not going to sit back idly regarding the false and defamatory stories fueled by unknown and anonymous sources that are now appearing in the media since his resignation from ABC," said his spokesman Stan Rosenfield, adding that Singer and his firm Lavely & Singer has been hired to "deal with these defamatory stories."

Since his abrupt resignation on Tuesday from Walt Disney Co.'s ABC, speculation has grown that there was more to his leaving than ABC's standings in the ratings race. Some published reports have suggested that there were probes at Disney and ABC into McPherson's conduct. 

When Disney announced McPherson was leaving, it declined to cite a specific reason, saying only it accepted his resignation. McPherson, who oversaw ABC's prime-time entertainment operations as well as Disney's major TV production unit, said he would announce future plans shortly.

On Thursday, in response to reporters asking about the gossip over why McPherson left, the executive's longtime lawyer Tom Hoberman issued a statement through Rosenfield saying, "it is not uncommon for high level executives to be the subject of gossip and innuendo. That would includes rumors of internal situations which can easily be misinterpreted or misrepresented. Seems like it goes with the territory, and there is nothing further to discuss."

-- Joe Flint