Originally created 09/09/04

CBS consolidates network, television studio arms



LOS ANGELES -- Viacom Inc. has reshuffled its executive ranks, placings its Paramount television production under the control of CBS Entertainment President Nancy Tellem.

Tellem, a key deputy of CBS Chairman Les Moonves, will oversee both the network and the television production studio under the new title of president, CBS Paramount Network Television Entertainment Group, Viacom announced Tuesday.

Tellem has overseen the rise of CBS to the top-rated network, supervising the development of such hits as the CSI franchise of crime dramas as well as the reality hit "Survivor."

She will now oversee Paramount Network Television studio, which produces shows for CBS and other networks, including "JAG," "Star Trek: Enterprise" and "Medical Investigation," a new show on NBC's fall schedule.

She will be succeeded as president of CBS Entertainment by Nina Tassler, who was the head of drama development at the network.

"Nancy has been my friend and partner for the greater part of my professional career and I can't imagine tackling all the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead without her at my side," Moonves said in a statement.

David Stapf, who heads current programming at CBS Entertainment, will take control of Paramount Network Television. He replaces Garry Hart, who will remain with the company as an independent producer.

The management moves come a few months after Moonves was promoted to co-president and co-chief operating officer of Viacom, with expanded responsibility including Viacom's radio and outdoor advertising business.

Moonves and co-president Tom Freston, who oversees the Paramount movie studio, MTV and other cable networks and publishing house Simon & Schuster, are vying to succeed Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone, who has said he will step down in three years.