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TV veteran Mark Pedowitz in talks for top post at CW Network

March 20, 2011 | 12:00 pm

Former Disney and ABC television executive Mark Pedowitz is a leading candidate for the top job at the CW Network, according to people familiar with the situation.

Pedowitz would succeed CW President Dawn Ostroff, who has indicated she plans to leave the network later this spring, most likely after the network presents its fall schedule to advertisers in New York this May. Ostroff is leaving for personal reasons as she plans to relocate from Los Angeles to New York, where her husband resides. The two have had a bi-coastal marriage.

Since exiting Disney last year, Pedowitz has headed his own production company, Pine Street Entertainment, which is based at Warner Bros. Pedowitz did not respond to an email request for comment. A CW spokesperson declined to comment.

Known more for his business acumen than his programming eye, Pedowitz held several senior positions at ABC and Disney for years. He headed business affairs for the network and then was president of ABC Studios, the network's production unit. However, after repeated clashes with Steve McPherson, the former president of ABC Entertainment, Pedowitz was moved to an advisory position reporting to Anne Sweeney, Disney's co-chairman of media networks.

At the CW, Pedowitz would be reunited with Thom Sherman, a former programming executive at ABC who is now executive vice president of drama for the CW. Sherman may also be in line for a new title in the executive restructuring that would include broader programming responsibilities for the network

The CW, a joint venture between Warner Bros. and CBS Corp., has been talking to potential candidates for several months. One of the challenges has been finding an executive that both corporate parents agree on.

The CW caters primarily to young women with dramas such as "Gossip Girl" and "The Vampire Diaries." It has gotten completely out of the comedy business. While the network itself is not profitable, some of its shows have made money for the studios that made them.

-- Joe Flint