Ex-NBC Executive Marc Graboff in Talks to Run 'American Idol' Owner CKX

4:25 AM PST 12/23/2011 by Georg Szalai
NBC

Last month, it emerged that he would depart from his role as NBC’s head of West Coast business operations.

American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance owner CKX is negotiating with former NBC top executive Marc Graboff to become its new head, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

A formal announcement could come before the end of the year. Current CEO Michael Ferrel will leave following this summer's acquisition by private equity firm Apollo Management, which took the the company private. The negotiations with Graboff were first reported by the New York Post.

Graboff departed from his role as NBC’s head of West Coast business operations last month as Comcast's acquisition of a majority stake in NBCUniversal led to a series of management changes. Well-liked in Hollywood, Graboff was a key player in negotiations with creative talent. Graboff previously also worked at CBS.

CKX also owns the rights to the name, image and likeness of Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali.

Graboff’s office didn't respond, and Apollo declined to comment.

The Post reported that Apollo also considered a range of other candidates, including Sirius XM Radio chief content officer Scott Greenstein, Charlie Collier of cable network AMC and Jules Haimovitz, a consultant and former Blockbuster director.

Aaron Stone, senior partner at Apollo Global, said at a recent UBS investor conference that CKX would make investments in digital businesses over time.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai

 

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