Hilary Estey McLoughlin joins CBS to oversee syndicated shows

CBS Corp. has hired Hilary Estey McLoughlin as president of creative affairs for its distribution unit, overseeing such popular programs as "Judge Judy," "Entertainment Tonight," "Doctor Phil" and "Rachael Ray."

Estey McLoughlin left Warner Bros. this past summer in a shake-up that followed Warner Bros.' hiring of Mike Darnell, former reality wizard of Fox Broadcasting.

Estey McLoughlin had been president of Warner Bros.' Telepictures Productions for nearly seven years. She spent almost her entire career at Telepictures -- 27 years -- helping build some of the industry's most successful syndicated shows, including "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," "Extra," "TMZ," and in an earlier era, "The Rosie O'Donnell Show.”

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This summer Warner Bros. fielded a promising program, "The Real," with a diverse cast that included Tamar Braxton and ran on Fox TV stations.

However, some of Warner Bros.' other recent efforts, including a talk show featuring Anderson Cooper, flopped. Cooper's show was canceled after two seasons, marking one of Estey McLoughlin's biggest programming disappointments.

Warner Bros.' big gamble for this season, a talk show starring Bethenny Frankel of Bravo's "Real Housewives," also has sputtered in the ratings.

The daytime landscape has been shifting, presenting programmers with challenges as they try to reach younger and more diverse audiences. 

The most successful shows launched in the last few years have featured African American entertainers, including Steve Harvey, Wendy Williams, Michael Strahan and Cedric the Entertainer. Sony Television's big bet for this season stars Queen Latifah.

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At CBS, Estey McLoughlin will report to Armando Nuñez, who is chief executive of the CBS Global Distribution Group. CBS said that Estey McLoughlin will be responsible for current series and developing new shows for the syndication marketplace.

“Hilary is a gifted and forward-thinking executive with an outstanding résumé of success for identifying and nurturing talent,” Nuñez said in a prepared statement. “She also has a great track record of innovation in using digital and social media to enhance programming brands.”

CBS Television Distribution distributes 11 first-run series and boasts the industry's largest television library, with more than 70,000 hours.


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Follow Meg James on Twitter: @MegJamesLAT



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