Ex-TV exec charged in wiretapping

Webster arrested for alleged felony

A former TV exec has been charged with felony wiretapping of his ex-employer while he was working for two other TV production companies.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office announced that Steve Webster, 38, surrendered Friday to district attorney’s investigators, was booked and freed on $10,000 bail. Arraignment is set for Aug. 9.

The complaint alleges the wiretapping occurred between July 31, 2001, and Jan. 20, 2004. Deputy District Attorney Jeffrey McGrath said Webster was employed by Fox-owned cabler FX from 1999 to July 2001 as VP of publicity and terminated in July 2001.

Webster subsequently worked for Sony Pictures as VP for corporate communications and marketing, involved in planning for the Game Show Network. He was hired in October 2002 as senior VP for communications for Universal Television Group. McGrath said he no longer works at Universal.

The investigation was launched last October following a complaint that Webster had been accessing weekly staff meetings of FX executives via telephone lines. Search warrants were served on Webster’s home and office in February.

A spokeswoman for the Fox Entertainment Group said, “Fox has been cooperating with the District Attorney’s Office on this matter for the past several months, and we are pleased with this development in the case.”

“If anything happened, it was an error in judgment without any criminal intent,” said Steve Meister, Webster’s lawyer. “Any lapse in judgment did not result in any professional or financial harm to anyone.”

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