Greg Meidel in line to take prexy/COO position
Twentieth TV prexy-chief operating officer Bob Cook, who has run the syndication distrib since 2000, will depart the company later this year.Cook is set to form his own marketing shingle, MBN Inc. He’ll stick with Twentieth until November, when his contract expires. In line to replace Cook is Greg Meidel, who runs Twentieth TV sister web MyNetworkTV. A Twentieth spokesman confirmed Cook’s exit and said the exec made the decision to leave himself. He declined comment on the Meidel speculation, however, and said the company would conduct a search both inside and outside Twentieth to find Cook’s replacement. Meidel would make sense for the gig given that he would essentially be resuming a job he held in the mid-1990s, when he also ran Twentieth’s domestic TV distribution unit. Meidel joined MyNet a few years ago as the nascent network looked to expand its original programming, but MyNet has now switched gears and is essentially a programming service airing off-net fare and WWE wrestling. With less to do at MyNet — and with it running repeat episodes of off-net Twentieth skeins like “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” — exec could easily be put in charge of Twentieth in addition to the netlet. Twentieth, MyNet and the Fox TV Stations all fall under the domain of Jack Abernethy, CEO of Fox Television Stations. Abernethy, in turn, reports to Fox News boss Roger Ailes. Under Cook’s watch, Twentieth has recently sold a string of off-net series into syndication, including “How I Met Your Mother.” Recent firstrun entries include “5th Grader.” Cook’s MBN will focus on developing digital platforms for Twentieth and other companies. Prior to Twentieth, Cook spent several years at CBS’ Eyemark syndie unit.