Bob Cook exiting Twentieth Television

Will leave in November to launch his own firm

Bob Cook is stepping down as president and COO of Twentieth Television, News Corp.'s TV syndication division, after nine years.

Cook will leave the company in November when his contract expires to launch his own company, MBN, Inc., which will have a deal with Twentieth TV.

MBN will be focused on developing digital platforms for Twentieth and other syndicators.

A spokesman for Twentieth TV said that the company is launching "an extensive search externally and internally" for Cook's replacement.

Greg Meidel, who ran Twentieth TV from 1992-95 and now serves as president of corporate sibling MyNetwork TV, is rumored to add Twentieth TV to his portfolio.

MyNetworkTV recently changed its programming direction away from original series and toward syndicated content.

Since joining Twentieth TV in 2000, Cook has overseen the off-network launches of such series as "Family Guy" and "How I Met Your Mother" and first-run series "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?"