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Vet exec shifts to Col TriStar

Stark named VP, replaces departing Timberman

Veteran Paramount current programming exec Steve Stark is jumping to Columbia TriStar Television, taking on a new gig as head of development.

Stark has been tapped exec VP of development for the studio, replacing Sarah Timberman, who officially is expected to ankle CTTV shortly.

Stark will oversee the studio’s comedy, drama and reality program development for network outlets.

Timberman has all but wrapped up a deal to join Studios USA as prexy of programming under recently upped David Kissinger. Studios USA, how-ever, declined to comment on Timberman’s new gig.

Move reunites Stark with Tom Mazza, former Par exec who serves as prexy of network television for CTTV. Stark will report directly to Mazza, who announced the hiring Monday.

“Steve has a tremendous talent for working with writers and producers,” Mazza told Daily Variety, noting Stark’s own previous career as a producer. “He has an ability to roll up his sleeves, communicate with them and make them feel at home. This is an opportunity for Steve to flourish.”

While Stark has spent the last decade of his career managing programs already on the air, he doesn’t see much difficulty transitioning to his role as a development exec.

“The goal (in both jobs) is to build great series,” he said. “The biggest difference for me is going to be how I work. So much of what is current is about a reactive thing. Development is more proactive.”

Stark said a key reason for his de-cision to join CTTV is the fact that the studio is not allied with any one net-work.

“I’m looking forward to being at a supplier that has no alignment,” he said. “I view that as a plus. We’re got to be a little scrappier, a little more tenacious. But if we’re passionate about it, we can get (shows) on the air.”

Stark has been at Paramount Net-work Television since 1992, supervising production on numerous skeins, from “Cheers” to “Star Trek: Voyager” to “Becker.”

He previously worked at U-based Al Burton Prods. After graduating college, he helped develop the successful syndicated hour “Star Search” with Bob Banner and Al Masini.