Morningstar leaves CW for MLB

Exec takes VP post at baseball network

The CW’s Bill Morningstar is ankling the Green net for even greener pastures: the Major League Baseball network.

Morningstar, who’s served as the CW’s exec veepee of advertising sales since its launch, will oversee ad sales for the MLB net, which bows in January.

Morningstar is no stranger to network launches, having joined the WB in 1994 before its bow; he was later one of the Frog refugees who made the transition to the CW in 2006 when the WB and UPN shut down.

The CW declined to comment on Morningstar’s departure, but insiders said Morningstar’s contract was up, and after 14 years at the WB and CW, he was looking for a change.

Morningstar is said to be a big baseball fan, which probably helped in the job change as well.

Then there’s the state of the CW in general; net has experienced a bumpy launch in the ratings. Nonetheless, Morningstar helped usher several unique advertiser-friendly functions at the CW so far, including the short-lived series “CW Now,” which attempted to integrate product mentions with celeb and lifestyle news.

CW insiders said Morningstar will be replaced; there are no plans to fold CW sales under co-owner CBS, a function the Eye provided for UPN. The netlet could name a replacement for Morningstar as soon as the end of this week.

At MLB, Morningstar will likely report to network CEO Tony Petitti, who departed CBS at the beginning of June. MLB Network is expected to launch Jan. 1 in at least 50 million homes.

Meanwhile, CW confirmed that the net would resume streaming segs of “Gossip Girl” online. Net pulled the show from the Internet earlier this year in an unsuccessful effort to spike the show’s broadcast ratings.

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