Sci Fi Taps Valentine For Program Slot

Sci Fi Channel has named Ian Valentine, an exile from USA Network, to the newly created post of senior vice president of original programming.

Valentine will report to Bonnie Hammer, Sci Fi's executive vice president and general manager. In his new job, Valentine will oversee original episodic and long-form programming development, as well as current programming for the channel.

Most recently, Valentine was executive vice president of business development for ExtendMedia. From 1995 to 1998, Valentine was vice president of long-form programming at USA Network, where he expanded the network's commitment to movies and mini-series based on literary classics, including
Moby Dick

Valentine was one of a number of USA programming executives that left the network after Stephen Chao came on board as USA Networks'president of programming and marketing. That USA exodus also included Rod Perth, president of entertainment for USA Networks.

"When a new regime comes in, many times there is a restructuring," Hammer said. "People want to put their own stamp on a network. Chao has always respected Ian, and I've worked with Ian for years. In fact, Chao brought Ian's name up for this job."

Before her promotion to general manager, Hammer was senior vice president of Sci Fi programming and USA Original Productions.

And E! Taps a COO

Elsewhere, Kenneth Bettsteller, former president of satellite distribution and business development for News Corp., has joined E! Networks as chief operating officer.

In the newly created position at E!, Bettsteller will be involved in all aspects of E! Networks'business, including direct oversight of the company's new media, international, business development, finance, administration and business affairs department.

At News Corp., Bettsteller was involved in all aspects of the company's direct-to-home satellite joint ventures. He also managed Fox's international general entertainment channels worldwide.