World Wrestling Federation Entertainment has hired Stuart Snyder as its president and chief operating officer.
Snyder comes from a division of the USA Networks, the company that is suing the WWF in a contractual dispute.
For the last seven months, Snyder has served as president of USA Home Entertainment. During his tenure at USA, Snyder had no connection with the USA Network’s cablecast of five weekly hours of wrestling matches, including the highly rated two-hour Monday “WWF Raw” on USA.
Fights for rights
Snyder reports to Vince McMahon, chairman of WWFE, and his wife Linda, the company’s CEO. USA is suing the McMahons to keep the five WWF hours from defecting to Viacom/CBS in September; the trial is scheduled to begin Monday in Delaware.
Viacom signed a five-year deal with the WWF that would shift the wrestling matches to the CBS-owned TNN. USA claims that it has a right of first refusal, and Viacom/CBS counters that USA can’t match its offer, which includes wrestling on the UPN network and on MTV, and XFL football on UPN and TNN.
The WWF is half-owner of the still-in-development XFL. NBC owns the other half.
Before USA, Snyder was president and chief operating officer of Feld Entertainment, responsible for more than 12 live touring shows, including Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, Disney on Ice, the Wizard of Oz on Ice and Siegfried & Roy.
Earlier in his career, Snyder served in a variety of executive posts at TBS, Live Homevideo/Carolco Pictures and MGM/UA.