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Exec to tune up Eye

Sussman will integrate music into CBS programming

CBS is upping specials guru Jack Sussman to exec VP and giving him a new role as the net’s chief liaison to the music biz.

In addition to overseeing specials and big events such as the Grammys and Tonys, Sussman will work directly with record labels, managers and music suppliers to find ways to integrate the work of emerging and established artists into CBS programming. He’ll also advise the Eye’s digital media division on potential music-related content for the Web and wireless platforms.

Sussman has been given the title of exec VP for specials, music and live events. He continues to report to CBS Entertainment prexy Nina Tassler.

CBS Par Network Television Entertainment Group prexy Nancy Tellem said Sussman will essentially be “CBS’ go-to executive for all music-related enterprises.”

“We’re seeing more producers weave contemporary music into their programs for heightened creative impact,” Tellem added. “Now, for the first time, the music industry will have a direct point person at CBS to facilitate this process, as well as develop new and creative ideas to marry the two mediums.”

Sussman is no stranger to the music biz. Since coming to CBS in 1998, he has helped put together a slew of music specials for the Eye, including Michael Jackson’s 30th anniversary and concerts featuring Celine Dion, Elton John, Faith Hill and Shania Twain. His pre-CBS resume includes five years working for MTV Latin America and VH1.

The soon-to-be defunct WB network was a pioneer in reaching out to the music biz, even dedicating an exec to serve as veepee of music and help place hot acts on Frog skeins.

Sussman’s non-music credits include the net’s high-rated “Carol Burnett Show” reunions, its annual AFI specials and the Eye’s 75th-anniversary gala.