Major Changes In Store For UPN/CBS

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EVERYBODY LOVES BUFFY?: Can a crossover between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Everybody Loves Raymond be far behind? CBS’s parent company, Viacom Inc., announced Monday that its fledgling network, UPN, will be shifted next month from Paramount Television Group to CBS Television, Variety reports. As a result, CBS president and CEO Les Moonves will soon be calling the shots at both CBS and UPN. “People say congratulations to me, and I say, ‘I think,'” Moonves joked. “Programming-wise, their schedule makes sense, but there’s work to be done.” For starters, put Roswell out of its misery once and for all.

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New York Daily News
From: Arts and Lifestyle | Television |
Tuesday, December 11, 2001

CBS Prez Will Also Run UPN
Daily News TV Editor

In a corporate shakeup, CBS President Leslie Moonves yesterday was given the
additional duty of running UPN.

Moonves, who has helped turn CBS around since arriving at the network six
years ago, will now also oversee UPN, which was launched in 1995 and has
since lost millions.

Until now, UPN had come under control of the Paramount Television Group, a
CBS sister company under the Viacom banner. The shift will occur next month.

Both networks will retain their separate identities and target audiences, a
Viacom spokesman said yesterday. “As for programming decisions, there will
be announcements in the future,” Viacom’s Carl Folta said. He declined to
discuss specifics, noting that the takeover doesn’t happen for another

Pointedly, Dean Valentine, current president of UPN and the network’s top
programmer, was not named in the press releases announcing the change.

“Dean’s still running the network,” Folta said. The announcement “doesn’t
impact the network at this moment. The network continues to run as it’s been

For how long, though, remains to be seen. In September, Valentine sued
Paramount for upward of $22 million, claiming the company had not made good
on contractual promises. His contract expires in September.

Despite ratings increases this season, the general industry view is
Valentine’s programming for UPN has been lackluster. The network’s largest
draw has been the various “Star Trek” series, which started before UPN and
its WWF telecasts. Last season, Valentine acquired the WB’s “Buffy the
Vampire Slayer” and “Roswell.”

For CBS, operating UPN creates built-in efficiencies in staffing and ad

It also gives CBS a chance to recycle some programming between the networks.
In theory, a drama such as “The Agency,” which appeals to males, could reair
on UPN; conversely, CBS could make use of UPN’s “Enterprise.” A more likely
scenario would see UPN carry CBS News’ coverage of crises.

“We really can’t go into any specifics now,” Folta said yesterday. “If it
makes sense to do, we’ll look into doing it.”

More information regarding Leslie Moonves from PBS:

Thanks to RoryRules for this as well :) December 12, 2001

Jonathan Frakes: It’s a good thing that Paramount began principal photography on Star Trek: Nemesis earlier this week with Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Frakes and most of the original cast of the television hit in place. This new Trek film will highlight the stormy relationship between Captain Picard’s crew and the Romulans as everybody battles to avoid the destruction of Earth. Frakes’ other space-themed show, Roswell, is in serious trouble, especially with CBS now in charge of programming for the UPN. The new work will help him take his mind off of Liz and Max. He won’t have time to feel the mighty blow of the ax.


CBS, UPN to Integrate Operations
Mon, Dec 10, 2001 04:46 PM PDT

LOS ANGELES ( – Viacom will bring together the operations of its two broadcast networks, CBS and UPN, under one extra-large banner starting in January.

The move, announced Monday (Dec. 10) by Viacom president/COO Mel Karmazin, will bring UPN under the CBS Television Unit, which includes the programming, sports and news divisions of CBS; distribution unit CBS Enterprises; and Viacom’s 34 owned-and-operated TV stations.

CBS president/CEO Leslie Moonves will head up the unit, overseeing the operations of both networks. The process will begin in January.

Although Viacom is as yet mum on details of the integration, it’s unlikely viewers will be seeing a “WWF Smackdown”/”Judging Amy” crossover any time soon; the two networks will maintain their separate personalities and affiliate relationships. The merge is being done to increase efficiency within Viacom and to boost ad sales across the two networks.

With that increased efficiency, Viacom hopes to build on UPN’s improved performance this season. The weblet’s ratings in the November sweeps period were the best in its history among total viewers and the demographic groups it targets.

“We are excited about the many possibilities to accelerate UPN’s growth and are confident that these innovations will significantly benefit our audiences, affiliates and Viacom shareholders,” Moonves says.

Viacom is declining comment on just how the integration will proceed, saying only that details will be announced in the next few weeks. UPN president/CEO Dean Valentine, whose job is analogous to Moonves’ at CBS, was not mentioned in the Viacom press release announcing the integration.

Valentine, who joined UPN in 1997, sued his own network in September, claiming he is owed up to $22 million in bonus payments based on the network’s performance during his tenure.

Also Monday, Kerry McCluggage, chairman of the Viacom-owned Paramount Television Group, announced he will step down at the end of January. McCluggage, who’s been with Paramount since 1991, was instrumental in the January 1995 launch of UPN and in broadening the reach of Paramount’s stations group, which now covers about a quarter of the country.

“It has been a privilege to work with an executive of Kerry’s caliber,” says Jonathan Dolgen, chairman of the Viacom Entertainment Group. “He built the Paramount Television Group into a truly preeminent force in the production of distribution of quality television.”

Paramount produces numerous series, including “Frasier” and “Ed” for NBC, “JAG” and “Becker” for CBS, and syndicated stalwarts “Judge Judy” and “Entertainment Tonight.”