... since the exit of president and CEO Rich Cronin last year and installation of former Universal Television group head David Goldhill, more than a dozen GSN staffers have left the channel and some speculate that the poker shows may be next to get the axe.
According to GSN, such reports are premature. Various options are still being weighed, a spokesman said, and no decision has yet been made. The network was supposed to make a call on "WPT" by Saturday, but the network and WPT are expected to release a joint statement Monday to assure shareholders of WPT Enterprises that that the parties are still in talks.
Among adults 18 to 49, the one-hour "High Stakes" is GSN's top-rated show (averaging 117,000 viewers in the demo). The recent fourth-season was its best yet, jumping 20% in the demo. The two-hour "WPT" is averaging sixth in its current debut season on the network (111,000).
Among total viewers, the shows are less successful on GSN, a network that tends to skew older: "WPT" ranks seventh (averaging 349,000 viewers) and "High Stakes" is 28th (306,000).
"These networks took a chance for poker and put it in the mainstream," said Poker Prods. CEO Mori Eskandani. "If they decide with the new CEO and their new direction that poker is not really working, that it has no cross promotional value, then I respect that."See also WPT Extends GSN's Option To Air Season 7 Of World Poker Tour, GSN Discussing Poker's Future On the Network, Will High Stakes Poker Return To TV?, and Why Travel Channel Dropped the World Poker Tour.