As noted, WWE lost a key ally at NBCUniversal last week as Chris McCumber, who served as the President of SyFy and the USA Network, left the company.
According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, McCumber was known to be a Paul Heyman supporter and wasn’t happy when Heyman was fired as Executive Director of Monday Night Raw in June this year. Heyman was replaced by Bruce Prichard, who was already serving as Executive Director of Friday Night SmackDown.
The report added that McCumber had been sold on the idea of a time frame of declining Raw ratings in order to rebuild and create a generation of new stars, which was Heyman’s plan. However, when Heyman was let go, the emphasis was once again put on older stars, which did not sit well with McCumber. “Whether he [McCumber] still felt that way a ratings somewhat stabilized is unclear,” added the latest newsletter.
McCumber, who took over as President of USA Network in 2011, was considered to be the point person in NBCU’s relationship with WWE. He reportedly spearheaded the negotiations between NBCU and WWE, which led to their current big-money TV deal.
Meltzer also noted that its too early to speculate if McCumber’s exit will negatively affect WWE’s relationship with USA Network, as his replacement will likely want to retain and promote pro wrestling. USA Network was emerged as “the wrestling channel” to many fans as they presently have 5 hours of WWE programming each week, with 3 hours of Raw and 2 hours of NXT.