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The Next Power in Programming

Sep 15, 2003  •  Post A Comment

There is still no word from Comcast, but the buzz is that the largest cable system operator may have finally found its long-sought head of programming in Jeff Shell, currently CEO of Gemstar-TV Guide International. A search has been going on for months, conducted by Philadelphia-based Howard Fischer Associates. Comcast, according to sources, wants to beef up its portfolio of networks. It already owns, among others, most of QVC and has majority stakes in E! Entertainment TV, The Golf Channels, Outdoor Life Network and G4. Before Gemstar, Mr. Shell was president and CEO of Fox Cable Networks Group from 2000 to 2002, overseeing more than 20 channels, including FX and Fox Sports Net. Sources said the headhunters at Fischer have also discussed the job with Larry Divney of Comedy Central; Showtime’s Matt Blank; Tom Rogers, former Primedia CEO; and USA Network President Doug Herzog.