Bell Succeeds Beahrs at Court

Court TV executive vice president of programming and marketing Art Bell will take over as president and COO of the network.

Bell succeeds Dick Beahrs, who holds those positions. Beahrs will retire at the end of the year, according to Court TV officials.

In addition to his current responsibilities for programming, production, creative services and marketing, along with corporate communications, Bell will now also oversee affiliate relations and ad sales, chairman and CEO Henry Schleiff said.

Bell takes over during a relatively strong performance period for Court. The network posted a 0.9 primetime household rating during the second quarter, up 29% from the same period last year.

As for Beahrs, who joined Court TV in 1992 as chief operating officer and added the president title in 1999, he said the network has accomplished the goals both he and Schlieff set forth five years ago.

"We had [several] aspects to our plan: distribution goals, ad revenue sales goals, ratings, value of brand and the importance of the network and cash flow objectives, and every one we exceeded exponentially," he said.

Though he'll remain an adviser to the network, Beahrs said he would turn his attention to several public service initiatives, including his work with the United Nations hunger task force.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.