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Ex-E! exec Croncota to head p'gramming division

NEW YORK — Style, the 24-hour ad-supported cable channel, has tapped Stephen Croncota as head of programming.

Croncota shifts over from Style’s parent network, E! Entertainment TV, where he was senior VP of marketing for both E! and Style. He succeeds Marta Tracy, who resigned last month.

Mark Sonnenberg, exec VP of E! Networks, said the network is sending a message to the cable operators that “we think enough of Style to put one of our senior executives at E! in charge of it.”

Style, which focuses on four lifestyle areas — fashion, beauty, home design and entertaining — reaches only 15 million households, but Sonnenberg said cable-operator commitments will increase that total to 44 million over the next few years. The network kicked off Oct. 1, 1998.

Croncota’s first major programming responsibility will be Style’s blanket coverage of New York Fashion Week (Sept. 7-15). Style will deliver 2-1/2 hours of daily programming on the week’s activities, including the runway shows and backstage interviews with designers and celebrities. The anchors are Lloyd Boston, who does style commentary for the “Today” show, and Krista Herman.

About half of Style’s programming is original and half purchased. Since many of the purchased programs are from Canada, U.S. cable viewers are seeing them for the first time.

Croncota joined E! in August 1999 after serving as VP and creative director of Cartoon Network, helping to launch it in October 1992. Before that, he was marketing director of Conde Nast, part of the team that created Details magazine.

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