NBC Entertainment's top West Coast executive, Scott Sassa, is negotiating to leave the network, according to NBC sources.
Although neither NBC nor Sassa would comment on his plans, NBC's West Coast president reportedly will step down in June, after the network announces its fall lineup of shows. Sassa has overseen the network's prime-time shows for three years, with Jeff Zucker, NBC's entertainment chief, reporting to him.
Rumors of Sassa's pending departure began circulating last year when Andrew Lack, former president of NBC News, was promoted over him to be network president. Sassa's lack of appetite for unscripted TV series and his reliance on more-expensive sitcoms and dramas has slowed the network's efforts to cut costs.
"Reality" shows such as "Survivor" have been key to the rise of CBS, a unit of Viacom Inc., which now is locked with General Electric Co.'s NBC in a race for first place in this season's ratings.