Nancy Tellem to Head New CBS Unit

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NEW YORK ( -- Viacom has announced another wave of management changes in the wake of the dual promotions of Les Moonves and Tom Freston to co-president and co-chief operating officer in June.

The most significant change is the new

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role to be played by Nancy Tellem, who has been president of entertainment since 1998. Ms. Tellem will now be president of a new entity, CBS Paramount Network Television Entertainment Group, which encompasses not only CBS but two production units.

New unit
The new unit effectively merges CBS Television Network's West Coast programming operations with those of CBS Productions and the Paramount Network Television studio. The latter two units produce shows for a range of outlets in addition to Viacom's CBS and UPN broadcast networks. Ms. Tellem had helped shape CBS's programming and helped develop long-running hits such as CSI and Survivor.

Replacing Ms. Tellem is Nina Tassler, who was previously head of drama development. Ms. Tassler also helped develop CSI into a three-show franchise; CSI: Miami followed the original and CSI: New York begins this season. Ms. Tassler will oversee network program development across all genres and will report to Ms. Tellem.

David Stapf, formerly head of current programming at CBS Entertainment, has been named president of Paramount Network Television, which will now encompass CBS Productions. According to Viacom, the division's former president, Garry Hart, is leaving to become an independent producer. Mr. Stapf will also report to Nancy Tellem.

Kelly Kahl
Separately, Kelly Kahl was named senior executive vice president of programming operations for CBS, a role that will see him closely integrate operations of CBS, UPN and the Viacom Television Station Group of local stations.

The changes signal a move by CBS management to tighten the reigns on businesses after the Paramount division was added to Mr. Moonves' oversight. Mr. Moonves, who is still chairman of CBS, gained oversight of Paramount's TV business, along with Viacom's outdoor and radio divisions in June following the resignation of former president and chief operating officer, Mel Karmazin. His role was divided between Mr. Moonves and Mr. Freston.

In July Mr. Freston, who is in charge of Viacom's cable divisions such as MTV, Showtime and BET, plus Paramount Pictures, Paramount Parks and Simon & Schuster, installed Judy McGrath as his successor at MTV Networks.

MTV Networks
Ms. McGrath, chairman-CEO of MTV Networks, which includes Comedy Central, CMT, Spike TV and the Nickelodeon-branded channels, is expected to name her replacement for her former position as group president of MTV Network. Executives speculate that Brian Graden, president of entertainment for MTV and VH1, is the most likely successor. An announcement is expected in October.

In addition, Viacom has yet to name a replacement for Mark Rosenthal, who quit as president and chief operating officer of MTV Networks, following the appointment of Ms. McGrath. Mr. Rosenthal had been the main sales contact for advertisers.

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