Root out front for HBO gig

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Strauss steps down at HBO

Let the guessing game begin. Hours after Carolyn Strauss stepped down as HBO Entertainment president, the industry started churning out names of potential candidates for the job.

Sources said British TV executive Jane Root has emerged as an early contender for the position. Root left her post as GM of Discovery Channel and the Science Channel in November when she said she was planning to "return to the United Kingdom to pursue other opportunities in the media industry."

While the prospect of a Hollywood outsider like Root overseeing series development for HBO might seem unorthodox, she already has been involved in the greenlighting of an HBO series. During her highly successful run as controller of BBC 2, she, along with BBC's content head Jana Bennett, teamed with HBO to produce "Rome."

Still, insiders cautioned that HBO is very early in the executive search process and that the pay cable network is planning to meet with a number of candidates before making a final decision. It is understood that Strauss' resignation may have caught HBO by surprise as the network had been looking to hire a No. 2 development executive to work under Strauss for the past few months.
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