Scott Sassa to run Hearst branch

Former NBC exec will oversee stakes in cable networks

Former NBC and Friendster exec Scott Sassa has resurfaced in a key role at Hearst Corp.

Sassa was named president of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication, where he will oversee the company's stakes in cable networks as well as its TV production and distribution arms, newspaper syndication and merchandise licensing.

"We are confident that Scott, who has successfully developed and led some of the entertainment industry's most recognized brands, is ideally suited to accomplish Hearst's goals moving forward in a time of media evolution," said Frank Bennack Jr., vice chairman and CEO of Hearst.

After spending seven years at NBC in various top programming posts, Sassa has held a series of posts in digital media, including president and CEO of Friendster, CEO-in-residence at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and, most recently, founder and CEO of

The Hearst unit was led by executive vp Bruce Paisner, who is retiring after 27 years.

Hearst has significant investments in ESPN, Lifetime, A&E and History. Sassa also has significant cable experience, having spent nine years at Turner Entertainment Group before his stint at NBC.