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Packer Gets a Co-President at MGM - Broadcasting & Cable

Packer Gets a Co-President at MGM

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Former Paramount International TV President and MGM Telecommunications Group Chief Gary Marenzi has been named co-president of worldwide TV for MGM.

His hiring effectively splits the division’s leadership with Jim Packer, who formerly led the division solo. Packer will now focus on domestic and Marenzi on international.

The changes atop the TV division, which MGM Chairman Harry Sloan has indicated accounts for 40% of the studio’s revenues, represent a “beefing up of the management team,” company spokesman Jeff Pryor said.

They will allow Packer to become more involved in domestic digital media and channel launches, in addition to continuing to oversee domestic distribution of a massive TV library, as the studio looks to increase its presence in domestic cable, according to Pryor.

Several possibilities have previously been floated in that arena, including MGM introducing digital and high-def channels.

Packer said the management restructuring will “benefit not only the studio, but our partners as well. New ways to deliver and consume content are presenting themselves almost daily and, with our combined experience in the television business, Gary and I will give MGM a competitive advantage in capitalizing on these new opportunities.”

The executives will “work closely” with MGM Executive VP of Worldwide Digital Media, Douglas A. Lee, and report directly to MGM Chief Operating Officer Rick Sands, who made the announcement Monday.

Sands said Marenzi’s international experience will “bolster” MGM’s position and, coupled with Packer’s efforts, grow its worldwide business.

Since June 2006, Marenzi has been president of Ensequence, Inc., where he spearheaded efforts to develop interactive television programming applications worldwide. 

He also led consulting firm Marenzi & Associates, which he founded in 2004, for clients such as Lucasfilm Ltd. and IMAX Corp.

He had served as international TV president at Paramount for seven years, and from 1992-97—during his first tour of duty at MGM (then under different ownership)—led international TV and worldwide pay TV operations.

Earlier, Marenzi ran the UIP Pay TV Group based in London for three years.

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