TechTV chairman and CEO Larry Wangberg has elected to step down from the
technology-focused cable network.
Wangberg -- who has been with the Vulcan Ventures Inc.-owned service since
its inception in 1997 and launch as ZDTV the following year -- said Thursday
that he will spend the next few months searching for his successor.
Once that person comes aboard, he will stay connected with Vulcan and its
chairman, Microsoft Corp. cofounder and Charter Communications Inc. chairman
Paul Allen, by remaining on TechTV's board of directors and taking a spot on
'It is my call,' Wangberg told Multichannel News a few hours after
announcing his decision.
With TechTV crossing the 30 million-TV-home mark one month ago and ad sales
and new cable-system affiliate contracts moving at a steady clip, he said, the
timing to step down was right from a business standpoint.
'From a personal standpoint,' he added, 'there are a lot of things I want to
do with my family and friends. I need some more flexibility in my life to do
Wangberg labeled his relationship with Allen as solid and his TechTV stint as
'one of the real highlights of my career.'
Indeed, he added, it was Allen who asked him to stay on the network's board,
to assume a Charter board seat and to 'work on other Vulcan things that may come
up in the coming months.'
In a prepared statement, Allen praised Wangberg for helping TechTV to achieve
its goal of being the place 'to educate people worldwide about the potential
uses of new technologies, PC-related hardware and software and other consumer
ZDTV became TechTV in 2000, then went on an original-programming-expansion
push last spring headlined by Tech Live, the multihour daypart devoted to
technology news, analysis and demonstrations.
Tech Live's hours and staff were trimmed two months ago as part of a cost
cutback at the network -- the only one in its tenure. About 130 employees were
Still, Tech Live has drawn a fan base, as have Call for Help,
The Screen Savers and other network series.
Nielsen Media Research will start rating the channel by the end of June,
Wangberg will also continue on the board of cable-hardware vendor ADC