'Enterprise' Will Stay, Says New UPN Executive

By Caillan
December 18, 2001 - 10:41 AM

Enterprise is assured a place on the schedule when Viacom merges UPN with its CBS television unit in January, the network's new chief executive said yesterday.

"The Monday comedy block will stay, Buffy will stay, Enterprise will stay, and wrestling will stay on Thursdays," Leslie Moonves told Mediaweek's John Consoli.

Moonves, president of fellow Viacom network CBS, will assume responsibility for UPN when current Paramount Television Group president Kerry McCluggage steps down in January next year (story).

Any major UPN shakeup probably won't happen until 2003. "On the air, you might not see much change in the coming year," Moonves said. "That may not happen until the following year [2003-04]."

Although CBS and UPN will retain separate identities, the cost-cutting merger has the potential to affect the Enterprise network's staff. UPN president Dean Valentine and chief operating officer Adam Ware are tipped by Viacom sources to follow McCluggage, but Moonves did not comment on the issue. "I don't know too much about their people. I haven't even been in the building yet," he said.

Widely regarded as a strong performer within the media buying community, UPN sales president Michael Mandelker will be retained.

"The ad community has worked well with Mike Mandelker and his team," said John Rash, chief broadcast negotiator for marketing and communications agency Campbell Mithun. "The sales force at UPN is not the issue. It has represented the network well."

With the current economic downturn, sources said that UPN's affiliate network is also expected to be integrated into CBS. An official announcement from CBS on its plans in this area is expected in the near future.

The original article can be found here at Mediaweek.

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