HOLLYWOOD — Bill Frank, a veteran Chris-Craft/United Television exec who played a key role in the growth of the TV station group over the past two decades, is leaving the company at the end of the year.

Frank, senior exec VP of Chris-Craft/United Broadcast Group, says he intends to take some time off and then evaluate “a number of potential investments in media and entertainment companies.”

News of Frank’s decision prompted speculation that he would partner in a showbiz-related venture with his brother, former Walt Disney TV and C3 chairman Rich Frank. Chris-Craft Industries chairman Herbert J. Siegel also indicated that his company would be open to future partnerships with Frank.

Moving on

“Bill has been devoted to our company and has been a highly valued member of our corporate family,” said Siegel. “We respect his desire to enter a new phase of his professional life and hope to join him in some of his future ventures.”

During Frank’s 24-year tenure with Chris-Craft/United TV, the station group has more than tripled in size from two to 10 major-market stations, covering nearly 22% of U.S. TV households.

Frank was heavily involved in the development of the UPN weblet, which is anchored by the Chris-Craft/United TV group. He also played a key role in establishing the group’s in-house ad sales unit in 1994 through an innovative joint venture with national rep firm Katz Media.

Frank joined Chris-Craft in 1974 as national sales manager of its Los Angeles outlet KCOP. He later served as president and general manager of the station and was upped to senior exec VP of the Chris-Craft/United broadcast group in 1993. Before coming to KCOP, Frank held sales posts with rep firms Petry Television, Metromedia Television and the BBD&O advertising agency.