Following a reorganization that had her reporting to an
ex-ad-sales official, Debra Green has resigned as senior vice president of affiliate
relations for E! Entertainment Television, officials said last week.
Green -- who has been at E! since January 1990, as part of
the original team that launched the network -- is forming a consulting firm for the
entertainment industry, Greenhouse Associates. And E!, which is now at 55 million homes,
will be one of her first clients.
"I really felt like I built E!, and that there was
nothing left for me there, for my personal satisfaction," Green said, adding that she
was eager to start her own company.
Green is the first major departure from E! since the exit
of longtime president Lee Masters, who left early this year to become head of Liberty
Masters was replaced by acting E! president Fran Shea,
whose first move was to institute a reorganization that promoted David Cassaro, senior
vice president of ad sales, to the new post of executive vice president.
Under that new structure, Green reported to Cassaro,
whereas before, she had reported to the president's office -- either Masters or Shea.
Green denied that the reorganization played any part in her
departure, even though sources close to the situation maintained that it did.
"This has nothing to do with that," Green said.
"Two months ago, I knew that I was leaving. [E! officials] begged me to stay."
According to Green, when the reorganization was announced,
she was already in the process of incorporating her new company, Greenhouse. Green, like
Masters, also had equity in E! that she is reportedly cashing out.
E! plans to replace Green, a network spokeswoman said.
Cassaro will continue overseeing the day-to-day operations of affiliate relations.
Recently, Green faced an uphill battle getting distribution for E!'s new fashion
spinoff network, Style.
Style's game plan was to take over the transponder and
8 million-subscriber base of Q2, which E! majority owner Comcast Corp. pulled the plug on
Oct. 1. But the conversion hasn't gone very smoothly. To date, Style has only signed
up 4.1 million homes, including 1.9 million Comcast subscribers who had been receiving Q2.
E! is currently talking to Tele-Communications Inc., which
had carried Q2 in some systems, about Style, Green said. A TCI spokeswoman said there are
no plans for the MSO to carry Style on analog, adding, "We look forward to bringing
it to our digital tier."
And Time Warner Cable, which had also carried Q2 on some
systems, has not signed a carriage deal for Style yet.