NBC WEST COAST PRESIDENT STEPS DOWN

Entertainment Chief Jeff Zucker Takes Over for Scott Sassa

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LOS ANGELES (AdAge.com) -- After months of rumors concerning his departure, NBC West Coast President Scott Sassa will leave his job and his duties will be taken over by Jeff Zucker, the network said.

Mr. Sassa will remain with NBC working on "strategic projects," and will report to Bob Wright, chairman-CEO of NBC, and Andrew Lack, the network's president and chief operating officer.

Mr. Zucker will keep his present title and will also report to Mr. Lack. In addition to his current duties, Mr. Zucker will also oversee NBC Studios, the network's production house; NBC Enterprises, its syndication unit; and NBC Agency, its in-house marketing arm.

Programming success
Mr. Wright credits

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Mr. Zucker with coming up with a number of new shows this past season that extended the network's dominance -- especially among 18- to 49-year-old viewers, a key ratings demographic among advertisers. Those shows include Scrubs, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Crossing Jordan and Fear Factor.

The network proclaimed its network supremecy today, the official end of the TV season, averaging 14.5 million viewers. CBS came in a close second with 14.1 million, ABC averaged 9.6 million, Fox 8.5 million, WB 4.2 million and UPN 4 million.

Mr. Sassa came to General Electric Co.'s NBC as president of NBC Entertainment in October 1998 and was promoted to president of NBC West Coast in May 1999. Mr. Zucker was named president of NBC Entertainment in December 2000, after a long stint as executive producer of NBC News' morning show, Today.

Spoke of departure
For months, industry executives speculated Mr. Sassa would leave his NBC post. AdAge.com sibling Electronic Media reported in February that Mr. Sassa had been quietly telling associates he will depart NBC by June, after the recently completed upfront presentations.

NBC executives said there was a lack of confidence in Mr. Sassa -- especially after Mr. Zucker's recently succees. Though Mr. Zucker reported to Mr. Sassa, he was primarily brought in by Mr. Wright after Mr. Sassa's choice for head of programming, Garth Ancier, failed at the task.

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