BURBANK, CA (April 20, 2004) – Paul Lee has been named president, ABC Family, it was announced today by Anne Sweeney, newly named co-chairman media networks, The Walt Disney Company, and president, Disney ABC Television, to whom he will report.
As president, Mr. Lee will be responsible for oversight of the channel’s programming, operations and creative direction.
In announcing Mr. Lee’s appointment, Ms. Sweeney said, “Paul is the perfect candidate to build ABC Family into a successful family-focused entertainment channel that bridges the niche of the kid-driven, family inclusive Disney Channel and the broad base of the ABC Television Network.”
Mr. Lee said, “I’m very excited to take on this role and to join one of the world’s top entertainment companies. I plan to continue the development of ABC Family into a strong brand within The Walt Disney Company portfolio, providing programming that reflects the comedy and drama of today’s families.”
Mr. Lee, chief executive officer of BBC America, has been leading the company since its launch, starting as general manager and chief operating officer. Most recently, the hit comedy series The Office garnered two Golden Globes. Other shows under Mr. Lee’s supervision included the BBC’s Changing Rooms which formatted into TLC’s signature show Trading Spaces and the BBC version of What Not to Wear. BBC America, since its initial launch in 1998, has grown to 38 million homes.
Prior to heading BBC America, Mr. Lee spent several years at BBC, serving as the producer, executive producer and then channel editor for BBC Prime, the company’s 24-hour entertainment channel. He also spent some time making documentaries for BBC News. Before joining BBC in 1984, Mr. Lee worked as a production manager at the Brazilian network Rede Globo in Rio de Janeiro.
Mr. Lee holds an MA in Modern Languages from Oxford University in England. Mr. Lee will relocate to Los Angeles with his wife and two sons.