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Ancier passes on WB network slot

Former Fox Broadcasting entertainment president Garth Ancier has apparently turned down a chance to sign on as programming chief with Warner Bros.’ WB Network, which is headed by Jamie Kellner, Ancier’s old boss at Fox.

Ancier, currently executive producer of the Columbia TriStar TV Distribution talker “Ricki Lake,” confirmed that he has had informal talks with Kellner about the WB Network, but said he intends to stay put.

“The ‘Ricki Lake’ show is my first priority. We have been nominated for an Emmy. I am exec producer and own 25% of the show. At this point it would be kind of silly to leave,” Ancier said.

There is no word yet on who Kellner’s other choices for programming chief are , but the search may go a long way to reassure those who feared that Warner Bros. might bow out of the fifth web race. Earlier this month, Warner Bros. broke ground on headquarters for its network.

A Warner Bros. spokesperson declined to comment on WB’s talks with Ancier and the search for a programming chief.

Paramount is also expected to eventually name a programming and/or network chief. Kerry McCluggage, chairman of Paramount Television Group, has been overseeing the launch of Paramount’s network and affiliate relations. But McCluggage has also indicated that execs will be brought in as launch nears. Considered a likely candidate for a top position is Steve Goldman, president of Paramount Domestic Television.

Both networks are to launch in early 1995.

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