Golden exits as Court TV staffers await their fates

Source sez cabler an uncertain environment

Citing the uncertainty at Court TV as a factor in his exit, senior VP of business development Robert Golden will leave the cabler to become veepee of new ventures at satellite service DirecTv.

Golden, a six-year Court TV veteran, said he decided to join DirecTv because it’s a good opportunity and because of the situation at Court TV.

‘Time to go’

“It was a little of both,” said Golden, who will relocate from the New York area to Los Angeles. “It was time to go.”

Court TV staffers have suffered through trying times. For more than a year, bickering among the cable network’s three owners — Time Warner, Liberty Media Corp. and NBC — resulted in a decrease of operating funds and a lack of clear strategic direction.

NBC in May sold its equity stake in Court TV, leaving Time Warner and Liberty as 50/50 partners. Time Warner is the managing partner.

Court TV’s 200 employees are still waiting to hear Time Warner’s plans for the channel. Court TV could be moved from New York to Atlanta, the home of Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting System.

Only one other senior executive has ankled Court TV recently. Former VP of research Deborah Hackenberry left six weeks ago. But there has been a fairly high level of turnover among the lower ranking positions, said sources. More departures could follow.

“This is an environment where they’re not telling people whether or not their jobs are secure,” said one staffer.