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Two months after being ousted from Hearst amid a sexting scandal, Scott Sassa has landed a new gig.
Sassa accepted the role of vice chairman at El Rey Network, a new general-entertainment, English-language cable network geared toward young-adult Latinos. El Rey, which is being jointly launched by filmmaker Robert Rodriguez and incubator FactoryMade Ventures, is set to launch in December and will have nationwide carriage via Comcast.
As part of the arrangement, marketing executive Antoinette Alfonso Zel will step into the newly created role of chief marketing officer of El Rey. The news comes some three months after Reliance-backed Georgeville Television announced that it will co-produce scripted programming with the network through a three-year, six-series arrangement.
As for Sassa, he most recently was president of Hearst entertainment and syndication, where he was responsible for the company’s interests in cable properties including A&E, ESPN and History as well as The Bible producer Mark Burnett Productions. He abruptly was fired after executives at the famously conservative company became aware of an extortion plot involving a stripper with whom he was sexting. Not long after, the R-rated sexts surfaced on the Internet.
Before Hearst, Sassa was president of NBC West Coast from 1999 to 2002, at which time he oversaw the entertainment business for the broadcast network. Earlier in his career, he was president of the Turner Entertainment Group, where he helped launch TNT, Cartoon Network and Turner Classic Movies.
“Scott is a dynamic, seasoned leader in television who has produced results at every stop he’s made, and he’s an innovator who understands the digital future. We are thrilled to bring him on board to make the El Rey Network what we’ve always envisioned it to be,” said Rodriguez Monday.
Added Sassa: “Robert has a long history of attracting top creative talent to make cutting-edge entertainment. This will be key to how El Rey connects with this powerful young audience. Together with Robert, FactoryMade and Antoinette, I look forward to building El Rey into a fun, creative and entertaining force in the cable and digital landscapes.”
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