Way back in August, the New York Observer reported that one of the biggest parlor games in Manhattan was guessing which big job Schleiff might go to next. Ideas floated then included president of NBC News, or a slot at either MSNBC or CNBC, as well as president of CNN. NBC later appointed Steve Capus as news president.
Time Warner is taking up Liberty Media's 50% stake in the channel, valued at $1.6 billion, and handing over the Atlanta Braves in return. Mr. Schleiff told his staff he would be stepping down as CEO, though he will remain as chairman. With his networking skills, we're pretty sure he's already got several possibilities in the works; he's a regular fixture on the New York City party circuit.
Mr. Schleiff joined Court TV in 1998 from a post as exec VP for Studios USA where he oversaw "The Maury Povich Show" among other talk shows. He has also worked at Universal Television Group, Viacom and HBO.
With Schleiff moving on, what happens to the rest of Court TV's 450 staffers? One very likely possibility is for Charles Collier, VP-advertising, to move up to a larger, general manager-type role. He's spearheaded the cable channel's push forward in engagement and made the bold move last year of selling agencies Starcom, Carat, Magna Global and Mediaedge:cia, a measure of viewers who are engaged in programming and commercials. "That guy deserves a knighthood," said one executive recently of Mr. Collier's efforts in that realm. A CourtTV press spokeswoman had no comment.