HBO Closing In on CEO -- from Inside

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A new HBO CEO could be named in the next few days, with the odds continuing to favor an executive already at the premium entertainment service, according to Time Warner executives close to the situation.

While there’s no timetable to name a replacement for former chief executive Chris Albrecht, these Time Warner executives said an announcement will most likely be made before June is done -- although executives would not rule out an announcement coming as early as this week.

Albrecht was dismissed from HBO May 13 after being arrested in Las Vegas four days earlier on assault charges for choking his girlfriend, Karla Jensen.

Time Warner insiders said the network continues to lean toward internal executives for its next leader. The four frontrunners: chief operating officer Bill Nelson, who is currently heading the network on an interim basis; executive vice president and general counsel Harold Akselrad; sales, marketing and business-development president Eric Kessler; and executive VP Richard Plepler.

Time Warner executives with knowledge of the search refuted published reports that outside executives such as former Viacom chief executive and MTV president Tom Freston or recently ousted NBC Entertainment president Kevin Reilly are in the running.

No HBO or Time Warner executives would provide official comments on the matter.

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