On a gorgeous night in DC, Henry Schleiff was on the Kennedy Center rooftop at dusk last night when he hinted the sun was about to set on his career at Court TV. Schleiff seemed surprised when CableFAX asked him about rumors he had told sr staff that he was stepping down as Court’s CEO, a position he’d held since ’98. "We’re in a transition," he said. "Things happen. I’m not ready to talk about it yet. We’re going to announce it all [today]." That announcement will confirm Schleiff will give up his CEO title at month’s end and remain chmn. He’ll move uptown to the Time Warner Center until year’s end. During that time, Schleiff is expected to seek a position at Time Warner. Owing to his close relationship with Dick Parsons, many expect Schleiff to land softly. Although it seemed secondary, Schleiff and sr staffers were in DC to celebrate yesterday’s opening of Court TV’s first news bureau, hosting a huge gathering atop the Kennedy Center. But to some, it seemed consummate schmoozer Schleiff was not quite at the top of his game. It’s not that he didn’t work the room or give his trademark hilarious/pointed speech. He did, schmoozing DC heavies like Sen Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) beautifully. But often Schleiff was spied on the periphery, huddled with svp, comm Jennifer Geisser, checking his Blackberry and making phone calls. It became obvious when the story about his departure broke, as Court’s PR team of Geisser and Carole Shander was inundated with cell phone calls and emails from the trade press for most of the night. "Higgins is calling. Crupi’s calling," Geisser said, clutching her cell in one hand and Blackberry in the other. "This is a fun party, isn’t it?"

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