Main man makes exit

Bettsteller will ankle E! net at summer's end

Longtime E! Networks exec Ken Bettsteller is ankling his post as chief operating officer.

Exec, who has been with the company for five years, will exit at the end of the summer. E! Networks prexy-CEO Ted Harbert has not yet named a replacement.

In a memo sent out to E! staffers Wednesday morning, Harbert said: “As our COO, Ken has been an integral part of the E! family and helped lead the company during a period of outstanding growth.

“At my request, Ken has generously agreed to stay at his post as we launch our full summer slate of E! and Style series and specials, so it’s ‘business as usual’ until later this summer. This also gives me the time to properly analyze how best to fill the gap that Ken’s resignation creates.”

Bettsteller is the second senior exec to leave the company since Harbert arrived, following the December exit of former exec VP of programming Mark Sonnenberg. Both Bettsteller and Sonnenberg were hired by former E! chief Mindy Herman.

Bettsteller said he is not pursuing any other job opportunities at the moment, adding his decision to leave was motivated by the need for a break. He said he plans to spend his time off with his family in Europe, where he grew up.

“I’ve had my foot on the accelerator for 20 years. It’s time to take pause and maybe recharge,” Bettsteller said. “The businesses I leave behind have grown tremendously, and they’re in good hands with Ted.”

At E! Networks, Bettsteller helped lead the growth of Style and E!’s international suite of channels.

“While trying to reach a valuable but easily distractible audience, we’ve held our audience and gotten younger,” he said. “The team in place can be proud on all fronts.”

Before joining E!, Bettsteller spent 13 years at News Corp., last serving as president of the company’s satellite business and international entertainment networks.

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