Rumors swirl on Jacquemin successor

The sudden departure this week of Buena Vista Television president Bob Jacquemin after nine years has attendees at this week’s National Assn. of Television Program Executives confab buzzing about a possible replacement.

Buena Vista TV execs have been mum, but sources suggest that some on the sales staff are pushing for the syndicator’s former sales head Mort Marcus, who now operates the Disney Studios-funded distribution company Debmar Studios.

Other names being mentioned include Janice Marinelli Mazza, BVTV’s senior VP of sales.

If Mazza gets the post, she would be only the second woman to run a syndie unit for a major — the other being Lucie Salhany, who served as president of Paramount Domestic TV before moving to Fox three years ago.

Mazza has taken over day-to-day control of the syndie wing, although it is generally conceded that Disney Studios exec VP Randy Reiss runs the unit — one of the reasons believed to be behind Jacquemin’s exit on the eve of NATPE.

Another scenario making the rounds is that Joel Berman, the highly regarded exec VP of domestic TV for Paramount Domestic TV, could take over from Jacquemin if Viacom acquires Par.

The theory is that Par might let Berman out of his contract to create an opening for Viacom syndie prez Rick Jacobson.

Speculation has been rife since Disney Studios confirmed on Sunday that Jacquemin has left (Daily Variety, Jan. 24). The resignation is effective Feb. 2 .

The sales staff learned of his resignation during a sales meeting here Sunday to map out convention strategy.

Sources also suggested that Jacquemin’s position may go unfilled, since Reiss has basically been running the studio’s syndie wing for the past few years. They said that created friction with Jacquemin, who had been relegated to the role of sales head — the same position he found himself in a decade ago when he headed syndication for Paramount, reporting to Reiss.

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