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Mullen To Leave Fuse Network

Amidst sagging ratings, Cablevision's Fuse network is parting ways with its executive VP/general manager Catherine Mullen after bringing her on less than a year ago. Mullen is expected to announce she is leaving the company within the coming weeks.

A Rainbow spokesperson declined to comment, but an executive familiar with the situation says Mullen has resigned to accept another offer, which she will make public soon. Mullen's superior Andrea Greenberg, President of Rainbow Media Ventures, is remaining with the company, although industry insiders are speculating her role may be redefined. She currently oversees Rainbow's emerging networks which include Fuse, Rainbow's sports networks and their VOD channels although Fuse may be removed from the lineup under her supervision.

Mullen, formerly general manager at MTV UK and Ireland, was tapped as Fuse's new leader in January, filling a programming hole left when entertainment chief Rob Weiss exited the network amidst difficulty with management at the end of last year. B&C broke the news of Weiss’ departure on Dec. 23rd.

Fuse's audience, which has always been miniscule, was 38% smaller in third quarter than it was last year. The network averaged just 21,000 viewers in prime. The network, which programs to the 18-34 demo, tried to broaden its appeal last fall, embracing new programming formats such as news and sports and signing new distribution deals, including one with cellular company MobiTV and another with cable operator Comcast.

One of Cablevision's Rainbow Entertainment networks, it reaches about 50 million viewers.

Mullen had been a candidate for the new role at least since Weiss left the network in December.