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Herzog’s Comedy Return Official

3/16/2004 3:01 AM Eastern

As expected, Doug Herzog is coming back to Comedy Central.

He will return as president in early May to the network he headed from 1995-98, and he will be based in Los Angeles.

Herzog, who had been serving as president of USA Network since 2001, will succeed Larry Divney, who will retire from Comedy this summer, according to network officials.

During Herzog's earlier tenure, the comedic channel launched its biggest hits, South Park and The Daily Show.

Herzog's status at USA was brought into question when NBC moved last fall to purchase Vivendi Universal Entertainment, television holdings of which also include cable networks Sci Fi Channel and Trio.

NBC -- which is expected to finalize its $14 billion deal in April or May -- recently named NBC Entertainment president Jeff Zucker as president of its entertainment, news and cable group. Many believe that once the deal is finalized, the former VUE networks will fall under his purview.

Herzog left Comedy for what turned out to be a brief and tenuous stint at the Fox television network before joining USA, where he oversaw the launch of such successful shows as Monk, The Dead Zone and, most recently, critically acclaimed miniseries Traffic.

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