UPN makes several personnel changes

UPN is contemplating dividing its entertainment division into current programming and development teams for the first time, and the netlet is making a slew of personnel changes.

On Friday UPN hired Layne Leslie Britton to head business affairs and Maira Suro to lead drama development. The No. 2 programming executive, Ron Taylor, also ankled the netlet Friday, and sources say Kelly Edwards, executive director of comedy development at Fox, is being eyed for the top comedy development job.

Taylor, who served as VP of programming under former UPN entertainment prexy Mike Sullivan since UPN’s launch, ankled after being offered the top job in current programming, sources said. The changes are being made by newly hired CEO Dean Valentine and entertainment executive VP Tom Nunan.

Britton is joining UPN as executive vice president of business operations from Ticketmaster Ventures, where he was chief operating officer. He also worked as a VP of business affairs at both CBS from 1987 to 1996 and at NBC from 1984 to 1987. He’ll report directly to Valentine.

Spelling links

Suro joins UPN from Spelling Entertainment Group, where she was VP of series development since 1995. She also previously worked for CBS as a drama development director and for Columbia Pictures TV as a drama development manager.

In addition to hiring an exec from Spelling, UPN is talking to Spelling about a programming alliance that will include a couple of shows. One idea being kicked around is an updated version of “The Love Boat,” sources said.

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