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Digital DemandsCue Change at Top - Broadcasting & Cable

Digital DemandsCue Change at Top

Studios adapt to shifting times with new leadership
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With digital platforms, smartphones, tablets and DVRs so fully a part of the TV business, success is now often measured based on who can best adapt to change. That’s true as well for the major studios’ syndication divisions, many of which have seen leadership switches at the top of their organizations in recent months. Moreover, the growing importance of sales to subscription videoon- demand (SVOD) platforms has pushed those digitally focused jobs into the spotlight.

Here’s a look who handles what at each of TV’s major studios.

CBS Television Distribution, which handles eight of syndication’s top 10 first-run shows, underwent a significant change last October. Armando Nuñez was named president of CBS’ new global distribution group, overseeing both domestic first-run and cable sales and international sales. Nuñez replaced John Nogawski, who had been president of CBS Television Distribution since 2006 and president of domestic distribution of Paramount Domestic Television (precursor to CTD) since 1999.

CBS’ domestic digital distribution—representing sales of programs to SVOD providers such as Netflix and Amazon Prime—is headed by Scott Koondel, senior VP and chief corporate content licensing officer, CBS, reporting to Joseph Ianniello, executive VP and CFO of CBS. In his current position, Koondel is also involved in domestic cable sales. Koondel recently led a deal with Amazon Prime to stream CBS’ summer drama, Under the Dome (from Steven Spielberg and Stephen King, based on the novel by King) four days after the series airs on the network.

Jonathan Bingaman oversees cable sales and reports to Nuñez, while Joe DiSalvo remains president of broadcast sales, selling first-run programs and cable series to TV stations.

Warner Bros. also has just seen a big change, with Kevin Tsujihara named CEO in January. What that will mean for Bruce Rosenblum, head of Warner Bros. Television Group and previously one of a trio of executives running Warner Bros. before Tsujihara’s ascension, is unknown.

In the meantime, Ken Werner remains president of domestic distribution, while international is headed by Jeffrey Schlesinger. Werner and Schlesinger, who both report to Rosenblum, work with Rosenblum’s No. 2, Craig Hunegs, executive VP of Warner Bros. Television Group, when it comes to digital deals both domestically and internationally, including the deal that Warner Bros. sealed in December with Netflix for such shows as The Following and Revolution.

Under Werner, Rick Meril, executive VP and general sales manager, handles station sales, while Tom Cerio, executive VP, handles cable sales.

NBCUniversal is the third studio that has seen change at the top, with Barry Wallach resigning in January. At this point, Wallach is not expected to be replaced, but that could change.

For now, Ted Harbert, chairman of NBC Broadcasting, oversees advertising sales, the owned TV stations, affiliate relations, network research, domestic television distribution, digital entertainment and special events.

Reporting to Harbert, Sean O’Boyle is executive VP and national syndication sales manager, while Frances Manfredi, president of NBCUniversal cable and new media distribution, oversees sales of NBCU and Universal Pictures product to linear and digital platforms, including Netflix, Amazon and others.

Executive setups at the other three majors— Disney-ABC Domestic Television, Sony Pictures Television and Twentieth Television— remain largely in place.

Janice Marinelli has been president of Disney- ABC Domestic Television since 1999. In that role, Marinelli oversees sales of TV shows and movies to TV stations, cable networks, set topbased VOD and SVOD in the U.S. and Canada.

Reporting to Marinelli are Jed Cohen, executive VP and general sales manager, overseeing sales of first-run and cable series to TV stations and cable networks; and Dan Cohen, who oversees pay-TV and digital sales.

Steve Mosko continues to preside over Sony Pictures Television. In 2001, Mosko was named president of Columbia TriStar Domestic Television (now Sony Pictures Television). Since 2009, Mosko has overseen SPT worldwide.

Reporting to Mosko is John Weiser, president of U.S. distribution, and reporting to Weiser are Phil Martzoff, executive VP of U.S. syndication sales; Flory Bramnick, executive VP of U.S. cable sales; and Chris Elwell, executive VP of U.S. distribution, overseeing crossplatform and digital distribution.

Finally, Greg Meidel has been Twentieth Television president since 2009, overseeing domestic distribution and MyNetwork TV, reporting to Jack Abernethy, Fox Television Stations CEO.

Paul Franklin heads up Twentieth’s sales to TV stations as executive VP and general sales manager, while Steve MacDonald oversees sales to cable networks. Peter Levinsohn, president of new media and digital distribution for Fox Digital Entertainment, handles content sales to digital and SVOD platforms. Levinsohn, who reports to Fox Filmed Entertainment chairman Jim Gianopulos, also has been instrumental in rebooting Twentieth Century Fox’s Arrested Development for Netflix.

E-mail comments to palbiniak@gmail.com and follow her on Twitter: @PaigeA

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