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Pearson execs in flux

Pearson Television North America has announced its long anticipated management changes. As expected, CEO Brian Harris is leaving the TV studio/distributor after five years.

In a complicated arrangement, Harris is being replaced by Catherine Mackay, who is taking on the new title of Deputy CEO of Pearson Television North America, the home to such syndicated series as Family Feud and To Tell the Truth. Mackay, who was previously the president of Pearson Television Enterprises, has also been named CEO of Pearson Television International and Enterprises. Mackay will be based in New York City.

Tony Cohen, who is the CEO of parent company RTL Group, will hold the CEO title at Pearson Television North America but Mackay will handle day-to-day responsibilities, sources say.

In another newly created position, David Lyle has been named President of Entertainment at Pearson Television North America. Lyle will work out of Pearson's Santa Monica, Ca., offices and be responsible for all of the companies' programming efforts in the U.S. It is unclear if there will be further shakeups within the North American division.

Pearson Television North America has struggled with its first-run syndication efforts of late, canceling veteran action series Baywatch this year and failing to get two new weekend series (Colosseum and Lean Angle) launched for the coming fall. Pearson has cleared a new version of Card Sharks for the fall and is returning both Family Feud and To Tell The Truth. - Joe Schlosser