The Valentine era is officially over at United Paramount Network, but it
didn't end the way most thought it would.
Viacom Inc. executives announced late Friday that Dean Valentine -- the
network's four-year president, who is suing the media giant for breach of
contract -- is leaving the network.
But Valentine's $22 million lawsuit against the network hasn't been settled
Insiders said that since Dec. 10, when CBS president and CEO Les Moonves
gained oversight of UPN, attorneys for Viacom and Valentine have been working
hard to reach a settlement so that Valentine would leave the network without any
In Valentine's suit, he claimed that he was owed up to $22 million in back
pay and that he had been working without a signed contract.
Viacom executives had no comment, and Valentine was unreachable for
Moonves is expected to name a replacement for Valentine in the near future,
but for now, he will assume Valentine's duties, insiders said.
Earlier this week, Moonves told TV critics gathered in Los Angeles that his
CBS staff was currently going through a 'major fact-finding mission' to see what
assets of the two networks can be combined.
'I think they have done an extraordinary job at UPN. Obviously, they have
great building blocks in Buffy [the Vampire Slayer] and
Enterprise,' Moonves said. 'I think the future is terrific there . We see
synergies there, we see opportunities to work together.'
Moonves added that it is possible that some NCAA
college-basketball games could air on UPN in March.