Dean Valentine Bows Out As UPN PresidentBy Caillan
January 12, 2002 - 8:24 AM
Dean Valentine has stepped down as President of UPN after almost five years in the job, parent company Viacom announced Friday.
The media conglomerate provided no reason for Valentine's exit, according to the Associated Press. The network has yet to announce a replacement.
Valentine's departure has been expected since last month's announcement of the UPN-CBS merger, which will see both networks reporting to CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves from the end of this month.
Last September Valentine filed a lawsuit against UPN for breach of contract, claiming he was owed up to $22 million in bonuses. The network had allegedly lured the executive away from Walt Disney Television by promising a lucrative bonuses package, but the agreement was never formalised.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the negotiations between Valentine and the network picked up pace last week as Viacom was eager to settle the dispute before UPN's Television Critics Association press tour on Monday. Despite these last-minute advances, a resolution has yet to be announced.
Prior to joining UPN in 1997, Valentine was responsible for overseeing shows such as Home Improvement and Ellen as president of Walt Disney Television. His work there with new animation series was one of the key reasons he was asked to head up UPN.
Paramount's president of television programming Kerry McCluggage, who was instrumental in the launch of UPN, will follow Valentine at the end of this month.
The changes in the network hierarchy will not affect Enterprise, as new chief executive Leslie Moonves said last month that the latest Star Trek series would stay on the schedule (story).