Company Town : Sources Confirm Pearlstine Move to Time Warner

Former Wall Street Journal executive editor Norman Pearlstine is in line to become the next editor in chief at Time Warner Inc., company sources confirmed.

The public announcement won't be made until after the media conglomerate's board of directors considers the hiring later this month.

In keeping with Time tradition, Pearlstine's predecessor, Jason McManus, is expected to recommend Pearlstine for the job to the company directors. McManus plans to retire soon, sources said.

Pearlstine would oversee magazines such as Time, Entertainment Weekly, People, Fortune and Sports Illustrated.

He presided over the Journal's rapid expansion during the 1980s and left the newspaper in 1992. Most recently he has headed Friday Holdings, the media investment company he founded with financial backing from QVC Inc. and Paramount Communications Inc. and named for his wife, author Nancy Friday. The Journal article that first reported the Pearlstine move this week also said he was working to dismantle the investment company partnership.

* Warner Bros.' WB Television Network has hired Kathleen Letterie as head of talent and Jordan Leven as head of comedy development. Separately, Warner Bros. Feature Animation named Dennis Edwards director of production.

* Publicists Michael Levine and Mitchell Schneider, whose clients have included Michael Jackson, are splitting up their 6-year-old Levine/Schneider Public Relations partnership. Effective next Feb. 1, they will strike out on their own.

* Sueann Ambron has been appointed executive vice president of Viacom On-Line Services.

* Former FBI veteran Edmund J. Pistey has been appointed director of the U.S. anti-piracy operation for the Motion Picture Assn. of America.

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