Marc Juris Out at truTV

Net president oversaw ratings rise and the decline that followed

After nearly a decade at truTV and precursor Court TV, Marc Juris is leaving the network. The evp and chief operating officer of Turner Broadcasting’s reality-themed channel had green-lit a steady stream of hits, notably Hardcore Pawn.

The exit is something of a surprise. While truTV has slipped in the ratings, it hasn’t suffered extravagantly—first quarter deliveries were down 5 percent among the 18-49 set and 8 percent among adults 25-54, but the network remained in the top 15 in both categories. TruTV admittedly did have a rough April, losing 18 percent of its prime-time 18-49 audience, but Juris had a solid track record—he led the net during its rebranding from Court TV. 

Turner Entertainment Networks president Steve Koonin on Thursday alerted staffers to Juris’ departure in a companywide memo.

“Today the company is announcing the departure of our colleague Marc Juris,” Koonin wrote. “As evp and chief operating officer of truTV, Marc has provided valuable leadership, especially through the network’s rebranding and subsequent audience growth.”

Koonin went on to note that he is already in the process of trying to identify a replacement for Juris, before adding, “We are extremely grateful to Marc for his many contributions to our business, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

Should Koonin elect to promote from within the ranks, the most obvious candidate would be Darren Campo, svp, programming, production and development.

There have been criticisms of the network, principally that its shows were staged. It’s a charge that is leveled at essentially every network that traffics in unscripted content, sometimes to the extent that lawsuits are filed. Rivals also have carped that truTV’s content often shamelessly bites on other established formats.

While Juris in 2008 helped engineer the shift from the Court TV brand to truTV, the ratings needle never really showed much upward movement. From the time Turner remolded the network to the day of Juris’ departure, truTV’s 18-49 deliveries have increased just 3 percent. 

If truTV is to really break out, it will have to develop more shows to support Hardcore Pawn and Lizard Lick Towing. A week ago, Lizard Lick was the most-watched show on truTV, averaging 2.4 million viewers on Monday night. After that, 13 episodes of Hardcore Pawn put up the net’s biggest deliveries, followed by another installment of Lizard Lick.

Storage Hunters, Full Throttle Saloon and Impractical Jokers also have been modest hits for truTV, and the latter title is of a piece with the channel’s new comedy-driven model. Last month, truTV announced it had ordered three comic reality pilots (Turbulence, Payback with Trevor Moore, Laugh Truck) and has two others in development (The Big Poll with John Henson, Mind Games).

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