Former Hearst and cable executive Scott Sassa has been named vice chairman of El Rey Network, the new general entertainment cable channel targeted towards young adults.
El Rey is being jointly launched by filmmaker Robert Rodriguez and FactoryMade Ventures. The network is expected to launch in December, with Comcast providing carriage on its systems.
Sassa in March stepped down as president of entertainment and syndication at Hearst Corp., the operating group responsible for the company's interests in leading cable TV properties including ESPN, Lifetime, A&E and History, as well as Mark Burnett Productions.
Additionally, Antoinette Alfonso Zel will serve in the newly created role of chief marketing officer at El Rey.
During his career, Sassa also served as president, NBC West Coast, from 1999-2002, overseeing the entertainment business for NBC. Prior to joining NBC in 1997, Sassa served as president of the Turner Entertainment Group, helping to roll out TNT, Cartoon Network and Turner Classic Movies during his tenure. Earlier, he was on the team that launched the Fox Broadcasting Co., serving as vice president of network management.
"Scott is a dynamic, seasoned leader in television who has produced results at every stop he's made, and he's an innovator who understands the digital future," said Rodriguez. "We are thrilled to bring him on board to make the El Rey Network what we've always envisioned it to be."