Kriegel ankling CBS; plans are uncertain

Jay Kriegel is ankling CBS for parts unknown. The Eye web senior vice president, who was the point man in the network’s struggle for regulatory relief in Washington, said he will leave Black Rock early next year.

Kriegel, known as “the consigliere” because of his role as the key adviser to CBS chairman Laurence Tisch, served as a behind-the-scenes power broker at the network. He was the executive who lured Jeff Sagansky to join the network to take over the entertainment division in 1990, when CBS was languishing in third place in the primetime ratings race.

“I came here to help Larry (Tisch) get the company in shape,” said Kriegel. “In that time we’ve put a terrific management team in place and gone from third place to first.”

Kriegel led the web’s battle against the financial interest and syndication rules, and advocated cable reregulation legislation.

In part Kriegel’s victories in D.C. were pyrrhic. To date, CBS has been thwarted in its attempts to capitalize on retransmission consent. Efforts led by Kriegel to start a basic cable service failed. According to CBS insiders, his inability to get the company in the cable business hastened his exit.

Kriegel said he was eager to stay in the communications biz.

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