When E! CEO Mindy Herman got the boot, plenty lined up to fill her Jimmy Choos.
Front-runners include Paramount Domestic Television Senior Vice President and National Sales Manager Scott Koondel and Fine Living President Ken Solomon, say insiders.
Both have cable chops and Hollywood connections.
Koondel oversees all of Paramount’s theatrical cable sales, off-network, and first-run. Solomon is the former president of Universal Television and also co-head of DreamWorks Television. He’s currently president of Scripps Networks’ high-end lifestyle network Fine Living. Comcast had no comment on its executive search.
Other power players whose names have been floated include Bill Hilary, former GM of Comedy Central; David Grant, former chief of Fox Television Studios; and former USA Network GM Michele Ganeless, pushed out by the NBC Universal merger.
Whoever wins will need to repair E!’s reputation -- inside and out -- and jump-start some serious reality programming.
Meanwhile, E! programming chief Mark Sonnenberg was attending to another E! exit. Celebrity gossip maven Joan Rivers jumped to TV Guide Channel, lured by a reputed $8 million deal, taking her sidekick daughter Melissa with her.
As for their successors, E! was mum on candidates last week. Sonnenberg wants a well-known personality to do double duty: host red-carpet award shows and additional programs.