DirecTV enlists search firm for new CEO

Heidrick and Struggles seeking Chase Carey replacement

NEW YORK -- DirecTV has hired executive search firm Heidrick and Struggles to look for a new CEO following the recent return of Chase Carey to News Corp.

While the satellite TV giant says the search is still in its early stages, speculation about possible candidates has been rampant. One source said it could be months until a decision is made, but the New York Post on Wednesday called Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei and DirecTV Latin America head Bruce Churchill early possible front-runners. A DirecTV spokesman declined to discuss specific names, citing the early stages of the process.

"The search process has just begun," Neil Austrian, chairman of the nominating and corporate governance committee of the DirecTV board, echoed in a statement.

"Heidrick and Struggles are identifying internal and external candidates. It's way too early to play the speculation game." Liberty Media officials couldn't be reached for comment. DirecTV recently struck a deal to merge with parts of Liberty, which has controlled the satellite firm.