Cronin’s Fox trot delayed

One of those faces conspicuously absent from the Fox Family Channel/Fox Kids booth at last week’s Western Cable Show in Anaheim was that of the channel’s incoming prexy Rich Cronin. His official welcome in his new digs has been held up by the nasty lawsuit filed by MTV Networks Inc. in the wake of Cronin’s ugly departure from his post overseeing the interests of Nick at Nite and its TV Land spinoff.

When Cronin had his contract voided in October due to his having signed a deal with the News Corp./Saban Entertainment entity while still under contract to parent Viacom, it was anticipated that the spurned MTV Nets would do everything in their power to prevent Cronin from joining Fox before his Nick at Nite/TV Land pact was set to expire in July ’98.

Fox insiders privately dismissed the possibility of any litigation-fueled delay in Cronin’s official start, even after MTV Networks filed suit. Cronin himself estimated that he’d be on the job within three to four weeks.

Yet it’s now six weeks since the Oct. 30 announcement of the new post, and Cronin remains trapped in legal limbo. An insider now believes things should be resolved “by the end of December” but admits that’s hardly certain.

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