Topps Co., the Bazooka bubble gum and sports card company controlled by Michael Eisner, has hired the former president of TV Guide Network and TVGuide.com as its chief executive.

New York-based Topps said late Tuesday that Ryan O'Hara, who abruptly left the TV Guide properties last week, would join Topps on March 1.

O'Hara, who had been with the Los Angeles company for about 8 years, left less than a year after the channel and its companion Web site were acquired by Santa Monica’s Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.

Eisner, the former CEO of Walt Disney Co., acquired Topps via his Torrante Co. investment company three years ago in partnership with Madison Dearborn Partners. He serves as Topps’ chairman.

“Ryan is an outstanding leader with a strong track record in media, sports, entertainment and confections,” said Eisner in a press release.

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