E! Entertainment Television is casting former NBC Studios chief Ted Harbert as its new president and CEO.
Most recently, Harbert has been producing under a two-year deal with Twentieth Television. The studio released him from the pact, clearing the way for Harbert to take over E! and sister net, Style, starting July 12.
He joins in the wake of former Mindy Herman's stormy exit amid allegations of abusing her power and company funds. E! is co-owned by Comcast and Walt Disney Co. and managed by Comcast.
Harbert is a well-respected vet in Hollywood, with good relationships with celebrities and talent -- skills E! could certainly use. The network has alienated some stars and their handlers over tabloid shows like Celebrities Uncensored.
"Ted has been in the television business for his entire professional life, and he is uniquely suited to reach out to the Hollywood community," Comcast Cable President Steve Burke said in a statement.
This will be Harbert’s first cable job, though.
He is a broadcast veteran, having spent the first 20 years of his professional life at ABC, eventually as ABC Entertainment Chairman. After exiting ABC in 1997, Harbert did a stint as a producer at Dreamworks, then joined NBC’s in-house studio as president.
In four years as NBC Studios president, Harbert oversaw NBC hits including drama Crossing Jordan and comedy Will & Grace.
Harbert is known to have some comedy chops, himself. At a recent roast for Jeff Zucker, NBC’s Entertainment, Cable and News President, Harbert ribbed his former boss with the top 10 reasons he was glad Zucker fired him. On the list: "I no longer have to pretend that I hate Les Moonves."
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