Nostalgia axes CEO Marcovsky

Nostalgia Network Inc., in the midst of a takeover fight, fired its chairman and chief executive late Thursday.

Michael Marcovsky was removed after a lengthy board meeting in New York, where company directors effectively ceded control of Nostalgia to a special committee of directors established to sell the company.

Marcovsky was replaced as CEO by Frank Jett, Nostalgia’s president, and as chairman by Gerald P. Carmen, a director and one-time U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva. Jett and Carmen are both on the special committee and are the directors working most closely with the New York investment bank Allen & Co. to find a buyer.

In a press release issued from his lawyer’s officer, Marcovsky blasted the board’s move, saying he is “profoundly concerned” about the ability to get the highest possible price for the company.

Nostalgia, a money-losing cable channel, went on the market last fall, when Pat Robertson’s Intl. Family Entertainment Inc. bid $ 2 a share, or roughly $ 41 million, for the company. That pits the televangelist against Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church, whose Concept Communications is a large Nostalgia shareholder and also has designs on controlling Nostalgia.

Supported meeting

Marcovsky said he was “sacked” because he supported a shareholder’s demand for a special shareholder meeting to elect new directors. Though the release did not name the shareholder, sources said the request was made by Tiger Communications Co., which committed its shares to IFE’s bid. A Tiger exec did not return calls Friday.

Marcovsky also criticized the special committee’s “complete lack of progress” in selling the company and called the process “little more than a charade.”

Nostalgia declined to respond to Marcovsky or explain its reasons for firing him. But sources said Marcovsky’s ties to Tiger was a conflict of interest that hindered the company’s ability to field bids from other suitors.

Nevertheless, Marcovsky, who is a large Nostalgia shareholder, remains on the company’s board.

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