Showtime exec behind Queer as Folk launch to step down

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com March 19 2003 12:00 AM ET

Showtime Networks Inc. on Tuesday said Jerry Offsay will be leaving his post as president of programming for the cable network at the end of 2003. Offsay, who turns 50 in December, has held the post since January 1994. Showtime is a unit of Viacom Inc.

In a statement Offsay said that last summer he announced to Matthew Blank, Showtime's chairman and chief executive officer, that he intended to leave the network after his 50th birthday. "After numerous conversations with him, we agreed that we should make the announcement sooner rather than later," Offsay said. "This will allow Matt a reasonable amount of time to look for my successor and provide an orderly transition." Showtime said it will begin the search for Offsay's successor immediately and that Offsay will work with his replacement to effectuate an orderly transition.

Offsay played a key role in the development of the gay-themed Showtime series Queer as Folk and the upcoming lesbian series formerly titled Earthlings.