King World exec back in classroom

Mar 5, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Teaching must be in the blood for the Friendly family, with King World executive Andy Friendly leaving his post atop the syndicator for a spot behind the lectern at USC.
Mr. Friendly will leave King World following 51/2 years with the company, where he most recently served as president of programming and production. Last November, Mr. Friendly advised Roger King, chairman and CEO of CBS Enterprises and King World Productions, and Robert Madden, executive vice president of CBS Enterprises, that he wanted to pursue new challenges in his career. Mr. Friendly said: “It’s just time for me to do other stuff. There are some other projects I want to do, so I’m going to take a little time to figure out what I want to do long term.”
In the meantime, he will teach a weekly course at his alma mater, the USC School of Cinema-Television, titled “A Friendly Guide to Unscripted TV.”
The move echoes his father’s shift from executive to educator. Fred Friendly was tapped as president of CBS News in 1964 and later resigned after network executives overrode his authority by replacing the scheduled broadcast of Senate hearings on the Vietnam War with more lucrative sitcoms.
In 1974, the elder Friendly began a series of conferences to engage journalists, judges, lawyers, business executives and government officials in dialogues over how the media and newsmakers interact. The initiative became the Columbia University Seminars on Media and Society and is now known as The Fred Friendly Seminars.
Andy Friendly also has set consulting and possible producing in his sights, taking an office at the Deep River production company, owned by his brother David.
“It’s been wonderful to work with so many terrific, talented people in every department,” said the departing executive. “`Inside Edition’ lived on way past `Hard Copy’ and `A Current Affair,’ `Hollywood Squares’ made it to the top 10 in less than three years, and even `Roseanne’ and `Martin Short’ were quality shows-even if they earned disappointing ratings.”
Mr. King noted Mr. Friendly’s contributions to the syndicator.
“Andy has been a valuable asset to the company, and with his guidance in the areas of development and production, he has helped to grow King World’s image for quality programming. We appreciate his hard work over the years and wish him the best luck in his future endeavors.”