New York -- Paxson Communications Corp. named former CBS
Entertainment chief Jeff Sagansky as its president and announced a $10 million equity
infusion last week, in preparation for today's (May 18) upfront-schedule
Paxson chairman Lowell Paxson named Sagansky, already a Pax
Net consultant, as president and CEO. Paxson also said that William E. Simon Jr. and the
Simon family have made a $10 million equity investment in the company. Simon, whose father
was the onetime treasury secretary, also becomes vice chairman.
Beyond the money, the family brings its considerable
investment expertise to the company, Paxson said, adding that he's looking for total
investments beyond $100 million. That, not coincidentally, is the size of Pax Net's
first-year programming budget, Sagansky noted.
Sagansky -- a former executive with Sony Pictures
Entertainment and NBC Entertainment, as well as with CBS -- predicted swift profitability
because unlike other broadcast networks, Pax Net won't pay station compensation to
its owned stations or suffer pre-emptions. Further, programming costs will be a
"fraction" of those of other networks, Sagansky added..
Paxson said Sagansky, who is under contract for four years,
has developed a slate of original Saturday-night series, the details of which Pax Net will
unveil today (May 18).