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Programming Head Kate Juergens Leaving ABC Family

Kate Juergens is departing her position as chief creative officer and executive VP, ABC Family. News of her departure was conveyed to staff in an email from Tom Ascheim, the network’s president.

Ascheim also announced that Lynn Stepanian, senior VP, acquisitions and scheduling is leaving the network as part of a broad reorganization that will combine ABC Family’s business strategy, planning and development and scheduling and acquisitions departments. He added that a head of the newly reorganized department will be announced soon and a search for a new programming head is set to begin.

Juergens and Stepanian’s departures come seven months after Ascheim was tapped to succeed Michael Riley as head of ABC Family. As programming chief, Juergens oversaw the launch of original series such as The Secret Life of the American TeenagerPretty Little LiarsSwitched at Birth and The Fosters. She joined the network since 2004, and was named chief creative officer in May, 2013.

In his email to staff, Ascheim wrote that Juergens approached him “a few months ago” about forming an exit strategy.

“I was disappointed but really understand anyone’s yen for a change of scene,” Ascheim wrote. “I asked [Juergens] to please stay on through pilot season and the summer launches and she graciously agreed. Kate just handed me our pilots—her best work she thinks—and so having fulfilled her promise it’s time to let her go and explore.”

Juergens also emailed staff, confirming that she approached Ascheim.

“Please know that this decision was not arrived at lightly, nor was it done without a lot of soul-searching,” she wrote. “But in the end, it was just the right thing for me. And you know, when I make a decision, that’s pretty much that.”

Stepanian joined ABC Family in 2012, following previous stints at TV Guide Network and the CW.