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CBS Names New Retrans Executive

WASHINGTON -- CBS has named Jonathan Sarrow as senior vice president of television network distribution to help negotiate retransmission consent and other carriage-fee deals for the company’s content.

He had been vice president of distribution, national accounts, for Fox, and before that was VP, business affairs.

Sarrow’s role is a newly created position under Ray Hopkins, president of network distribution, who was hired after CBS chief retrans negotiator Marty Franks announced his retirement as of Sept. 30, after doing double duty as retrans and public-policy guru, based in New York and Washington.

Sarrow will be based in New York. His resume also includes director, international distribution, for New Line Cinema and syndication distribution for New World Television.

CBS, under the leadership of CEO Les Moonves, has been aggressive in its pursuit of higher retrans fees for what it, and cable viewership stats, suggest is high-value content.

 “Carriage fees are an increasingly important part of CBS’s growth strategy," Hopkins said in announcing the hire. "[A]s we maximize the value of our content, it’s important we have a veteran like Jonathan helping negotiate these deals. I look forward to working with him in this role.”