New York -- Tim Brooks said last week that he's resigning
as senior vice president of research at USA Networks Inc. -- the latest in a string of
departures by executives from the company's pre-Barry Diller era. USA will not replace
The company will no longer have a single research head, a
USA spokeswoman said, adding that USA Network research vice president Ray Giacopella and
Sci Fi Channel research director Tom Bumbera are now the top-ranked executives on the
combined 10-person staff.
Brooks downplayed the change in leadership at USA as a
factor in his departure. After 18 months under Diller, Brooks said, current chairman
"Diller runs [the company] differently than [founder and ex-CEO] Kay [Koplovitz], but
that's to be expected."
Brooks -- who joined USA as vice president of research in
1991, becoming senior vice president in 1994 -- said in a prepared statement that he is
leaving "to pursue other interests," but he will stay on during an unspecified
Later, Brooks said he was "talking with some media
companies," and he would also be "open to research companies -- anywhere my
research skill set can be put to use."
In addition, Brooks pointed out that he is "a fairly
active writer," with an updated Complete Directory to Primetime Network and Cable
TV Shows 1946-Present just out and five other TV-related book projects in various
stages of development.
In recent years, Brooks was at the cable forefront in
trying to establish Statistical Research Inc.'s Systems for Measuring and Reporting
Television (SMART) as a national ratings alternative to Nielsen Media Research. He was
among the few cable network executives to sign letters of intent to support SMART, the
latest this past January.
But SRI pulled the plug in May, after failing to get the
"Big Four" broadcast-TV networks to commit and, consequently, failing to lure
investors to the $100 million research venture.
During his USA tenure, Brooks was also involved in the
launches of Sci Fi in 1992 and USA Network in Europe and Latin America in 1994 and 1995,
as well as in program acquisition, development and scheduling for both networks in the
A onetime research executive with ad agency N.W. Ayer &
Partners and the NBC TV network, Brooks has been an active member of the Committee on
National Cable Audience Measurement (CONCAM), and he was the first cable executive elected
chairman of the Advertising Research Foundation.