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Silvestri, Giacopelli Out at USA

On the heels of Stephen Chao's departure, several other top USA Cable
executives are leaving the company, including executive vice president of ad
sales John Silvestri and senior vice president of research Ray Giacopelli,
sources said Friday.

Giacopelli said his contract had not been renewed, with USA Cable deciding to
eliminate his job and to dismantle his nine-person corporate research
department.

Instead, USA Network and Sci Fi Channel will each have their own research
officials assigned, reporting to the programming departments at the
networks.

However, Giacopelli hopes some of his staffers, and possibly himself, will
eventually wind up being placed in other slots at USA Cable.

USA couldn't be reached for comment at deadline, nor could Silvestri, who
reportedly has taken an early retirement package.

His stature was diminished in May 2000, when then-USA Cable president Chao
named former CBS-TV stations group executive Richard Sheingold to the newly
created position of president of ad sales.

When Sheingold left this past April, former About.com Inc. ad-sales chief Jon
Spaet replaced him.