Herman Out at E!

Mindy Herman is out as CEO of E! Networks, officials said Thursday.

Comcast Corp. -- which owns E! along with The Walt Disney Co. -- announced Herman’s departure in a press release, saying she had “decided to leave her post.” Comcast said it asked Herman to assist in the transition, and she will remain in her position until later this year.

According to Herman, she plans to spend more time with her infant son and pursue “other entrepreneurial interests.”

The announcement came after a blistering Los Angeles Times story Thursday about Herman’s tenure at E!, which charged that the 42-year-old had abused her power and acted inappropriately, at one juncture allegedly even getting into a brawl with a woman outside of a Hollywood burlesque club.

Comcast, which declined to comment on the Times story, said it is embarking on a national search to find a replacement for Herman, a lawyer who is a veteran of News Corp. and In Demand. Herman joined E! in 2000.

The Times reported that complaints from employees prompted Comcast to look into her actions, ultimately paving the way for her exit. Comcast and Disney were set to offer Herman a $20 million severance package, the Times said. Comcast declined to say if there was a severance deal.

In a prepared statement, Herman said, “This was not an easy decision for me and, more than anything else, I will really miss the tremendously talented team of executives that I leave behind at E! and Style. But we have accomplished essentially everything that we set out to do when I joined E! Networks in early 2000. This is a logical time for me to transition to the next phase of my career.”

In the press release, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts lauded Herman for guiding E! Entertainment Television’s growth to an 85 million-subscriber network, up from 40 million when she got there, with the network’s revenue up to $350 million in 2003.