Samples expected to take reins at TPE

The long-speculated retirement of Al Masini as head of Gotham-based Television Programing Enterprises is expected to be announced this week, with Rysher Entertainment founder Keith Samples to add TPE stripes to his other responsibilities, according to sources.

Parent company Cox Broadcasting had originally stated it didn’t foresee changing the shape of the two operations until next year when it agreed in principal to acquire Rysher in January.

When Cox announced formal completion of its acquisition of Samples’ two-year-old L.A. based production and distribution company last week, it said the “two companies will be restructured to re-define responsibilities” but didn’t elaborate.

It would follow that TPE and Rysher will merge and Samples will run the combined company and national TV sales rep firm TeleRep. In addition, TeleRep would be spun off into a separate division under the leadership of Steven Herson , TeleRep president and G.M. Previously, TeleRep and TPE functioned as one division of Cox Broadcasting.

According to sources, Masini will form his own production company and continue producing such successful TPE staples as “Star Search” and “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.”

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