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After a months-long search, E! has named Suzanne Kolb as its new president.
The position has been left open since Ted Harbert was reassigned to New York, where he serves as NBC Broadcasting chairman. Since the Comcast-NBC Universal merger was formalized in late January, the young, female-leaning network has fallen under the purview of NBCU cable entertainment and cable studios’ Bonnie Hammer.
Kolb has been at the network since 2005, where she most recently served as president of marketing, news and online for E! and its sister network, Style. She had previous stints at the WB, where she held the title of executive vice president of marketing.
“As a member of E!’s leadership team, Suzanne has played a pivotal role in getting the network to the great place it is today,” said Hammer in a statement. “Her strong oversight of three areas key to E!’s success — news, online and marketing — makes her the perfect person to lead the brand through the important next phase of its evolution.”
In her new role, Kolb’s senior management team will include longtime E! executives Steve Dolcemaschio, Chief Operating Officer, Lisa Berger, President, Entertainment Programming, and Cyndi McClellan, Executive Vice President, Research and Program Strategy.
“I am incredibly grateful to Bonnie for the opportunity to lead E! during this wonderfully exciting and unique time in the brand’s history and equally thrilled to do that in partnership with a management team I know and love,” added Kolb. “E! has enjoyed great success in the past but we’re just getting started.”
Earlier this spring, Hammer confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that she will be pushing the network best known for the Keeping Up with the Kardashian franchise into the scripted drama space over the next two to three years. “Obviously we do a boatload at USA and Syfy, and E! is the next step,” she said, noting that “E! is not going to turn into Syfy or USA.”
Last month, THR first reported the network’s plan to undergo what Hammer dubs a “brand audit,” much the way her USA did seven years earlier. “I would say that E! is a wide open book right now in terms of where we go,” she told THR of her plan to figure out what the female-leaning network is — and perhaps more poignantly, could be. “E! is very successful right now; it’s not broken in any way, shape or form. But the goal is to do to E! what we did to USA over the past seven years: take it from a successful channel and have it just completely break out.”
Email: Lacey.Rose@thr.com; Twitter: @LaceyVRose
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