EXCLUSIVE: The CW’s marketing chief Rick Haskins, whose full title is EVP Digital, New Technologies, Marketing and Brand Strategy, will be leaving the network. Haskins’ contract is up in May, but he has agreed to stay on until August and shepherd the network’s fall launch campaign. He will also help through the transition as the CW’s new entertainment president, a position veteran Mark Pedowitz has been in negotiations for, names his new head of marketing. Haskins joined the network shortly after the January 2006 announcement of the dissolvement of the WB and UPN and the creation of the CW, and he became the first CW employee not associated with the WB or UPN. He was brought in by UPN topper Dawn Ostroff, who had been named entertainment president of the new network. The two have had close relationship dating back to their days at Lifetime, where Haskins was EVP/general manager and Ostroff EVP and head of development. When Ostroff in January indicated that she would leave the CW at the end of the season to relocate to New York, Haskins began mulling his own exit and has been taking meetings for jobs in the tech sector and in cable for the past few months. I hear he made the decision to leave on his own terms before CBS and Warner Bros brass even began the search for Ostroff’s successor. At the CW, Haskins, a 27-year marketing veteran, has spearheaded all marketing efforts, including the network’s launch campaign and initial brand image, the headline-making OMFG campaign for Gossip Girl, the recent Catch VD campaign for The Vampire Diaries and the current TV to Talk/Text/Blog/IM About campaign. He also spearheaded the CW’s early adoption of Facebook and Twitter in the network’s marketing.
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