The move comes at a tricky time for Court TV. The network is still in the middle of a difficult cable upfront--and networks have barely eked out pricing gains--most getting 1 percent to 3 percent decreases in the cost per thousand viewers (CPMs).
For Court TV, it's a double whammy. The personnel upheaval is coupled with a changing media landscape. The cable network's media deals include new types of guarantees, based on so-called "viewer engagement" data. Court TV blazed a trail last year, signing such deals with Starcom MediaVest Group, Mediaedge:cia, and others. It is believed that Court TV made more deals with agencies this year.
Will Turner honor those viewer-engagement deals? "They better. A deal's a deal," says one veteran media agency executive. A Turner spokesman would not comment, but executives believe Turner will uphold those upfront deals.
However, Turner networks TNT and TBS have not yet inked agreements using this new research information. One media executive says TNT and TBS have completed about 70 percent of their upfront sales activities. Others say TNT and TBS sales activity is running at a much slower pace. Court TV is somewhat farther behind, according to media executives.
Collier will take a non-advertising general manager position at the Rainbow's AMC movie channel, according to two media executives. A Rainbow spokesman had no comment.
In addition, approximately 50 Court TV advertising sales positions will be shoehorned into a new team of about 30 to 35 under Turner's advertising sales department. Essentially, the Court TV ad team will be re-applying for their jobs, says one media executive. The new team will report to Linda Yaccarino, executive vice president/general manager of Turner Entertainment Advertising Sales--who, in turn, reports to David Levy, president of Turner Entertainment Advertising Sales.
A Turner spokeswoman would only say through a prepared statement: "Since the announcement in May that Court TV would join Turner Broadcasting, we have utilized a thoughtful and strategic process to integrate the two companies. As expected, leveraging Turner's resources to advantage Court TV has identified some job redundancy and positions have been eliminated. We continue to work with affected colleagues through this process."
In May, Turner Broadcasting's parent, Time Warner, acquired Court TV for $735 million. 's Web site first reported news of Collier's departure.