TELEVISION: WILL JAMIE GET WITH THE PROGRAM?

AS THE RATINGS DROP AND RUMORS MOUNT, ABC'S EMBATTLED PROGRAMMING CHIEF UNVEILS A NEW SCHEDULE AND REFLECTS ON THE WORST YEAR OF HER LIFE

Network programming chiefs typically are glib, self-assured guys who can rattle on about demographics or development deals even when the sky is falling. ABC Entertainment president Jamie Tarses, by contrast, looked a little battered during an interview last week, taking long, contemplative pauses before answering even seemingly simple questions. There was the weight of the world in those pauses--or, just as burdensome, the weight of a relentless Hollywood lobbying campaign against her, a stream of rumors that after a season of dismal ratings, she'll soon be out of a job.

"It has been stressful," Tarses acknowledged, scrunched into a leather chair...

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