EXCLUSIVE: Hub Network president and CEO Margaret Loesch will be stepping down at the end of the year. The veteran executive oversaw the 2010 launch of the kids cable network, a joint venture between Discovery Communications and toymaker Hasbro, and has run it ever since. Loesch’s departure raises further questions about the future of the upstart kids cable network, which has been plagued by rumors that it may be shutting down. Hub, which replaced Discovery Kids, is not commenting on its plans for the future, though I’m hearing the name of a Discovery veteran — Tom Cosgrove, CEO of another Discovery co-venture channel, 3D Television Network — as a potential replacement. There is talk that Hub, which reaches nearly 73 million U.S. homes, may be re-branded, with its headquarters, currently based in Burbank, potentially moving to Discovery’s home base in Silver Spring, MD.
“After five years at the Hub Network as its founding President & CEO, I am announcing that I will be leaving at the end of the year when my contract expires,” Loesch said in a statement to Deadline. “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. I will be working closely with our parent companies, Discovery and Hasbro, to assist in the leadership transition. 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.”