(April 23, 2001 – Burbank, CA) – Eric Frankel, President of Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution, has assembled a diverse team of industry leaders to head the division’s sales, marketing, and distribution activities and better serve the growing market for Warner Bros. programming. The core executive team licenses Warner Bros. feature films, television series, miniseries, TV movies, and specials to the pay television and basic cable markets, as well as feature films to the broadcast networks. These functions were previously handled by the New York-based Warner Bros. Domestic Pay-TV, Cable & Network Features Distribution. As previously announced, Gus Lucas, Senior Vice President, heads the division’s sales force. He is joined by Ron Sunderland, who has been named Senior Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs, and Donald Putrimas, who joins the division as Vice President & Controller. Supporting WBDCD’s sales efforts are Mike Russo, who has been named Vice President, Sales; Christine Labrecque, who serves as Vice President, Sales and is based in the division’s New York office; Timothy Ramirez, named Director, Sales; and Linda Abrams, who oversees advertising, promotions, and client communications as Vice President, Marketing. Inventory and Sales Planning activities are handled by Vice President, Inventory & Sales Planning Pam Ritchie; Libby Kauper, Director, Inventory & Sales Planning; and Sean Broedow, Manager, Inventory & Sales Planning. “We have harnessed our resources and assembled a team of creative and experienced executives,” said Frankel. “The fragmentation of the marketplace has made maximizing potential revenue for each title not only more difficult, but also more crucial to the health of our business. These individuals have the insight and, more importantly, the foresight to achieve this mandate. They are at the top of their game, and they strengthen our team’s ability to take advantage of distribution opportunities.” Frankel added that “being based at the Studio’s headquarters puts us close to the development and production process, and affords us many marketing opportunities that greatly enhance our sales efforts and add value for our clients.” Ron Sunderland most recently served as Senior Vice President, Business Affairs for AsSeenIn.com, a product placement firm that sells items featured in film and television on the Internet. Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President, Business Affairs for Spelling Television beginning in 1997. He started his entertainment legal career at ABC Inc. in 1978 as Vice President, Business Affairs West Coast and was later promoted to Vice President, Business Affairs and Contracts during his 18-year tenure at the company. Donald Putrimas joins WBDCD from Warner Hollywood Studios, where he spent 11 years, most recently as Vice President/Controller. Before that, he served for three years as Vice President, Financial Reporting at Lorimar Telepictures, and the four years prior as Controller at Telepictures Corporation. Before entering the entertainment industry, Putrimas served as controller for FSC Corporation/Gray Iron Foundry and as Accounting Manager at the toy company Louis Marx & Company. Putrimas was President of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce from 1997-1998. Mike Russo joins Warner Bros. from Universal Studios, where he had served as Vice President, Worldwide Pay Television and Networks Group since 1996. Previously, Russo was Executive Vice President, Domestic Television with ITC/Polygram Television for four years, having also served as Vice President, Western Region and General Sales Manager, after joining the company in 1989 as Vice President, Northeast Region. Russo began his career in television with Hal Roach Studios/Qintex Entertainment, serving as Manager, Eastern Sales, after joining the company as an Account Executive in 1986. Christine Labrecque, who will remain in the New York office and concentrate her efforts on East Coast clients, most recently served as Vice President, Pay-Per-View/Video-On-Demand Sales, Warner Bros. Domestic Pay-TV, Cable & Network Features. She previously served as Director, Pay-Per-View Sales and an Account Executive at Warner Bros. Before joining the company, Labrecque was Director, Affiliate Relations, Mid-Atlantic Region for Viewer’s Choice, and spent five years in various posts in the Sales and Client Services areas at A&E Networks. She graduated cum laude from Georgetown University. Timothy Ramirez rejoins WBDCD from Canal Plus/Sogecable in Madrid, where he served for two years as an acquisitions executive. Ramirez first joined Warner Bros. as Manager, Worldwide Pay-TV, and then went on to serve for five years as Director of Pay-Per-View. Prior to that, he was with Twentieth Century Fox. Linda Abrams comes to WBDCD from Columbia House, where she served as Senior Director, Partner Marketing-Columbiahouse.com since 1999. Previously, she was Vice President, Affiliate Marketing at MTV beginning in 1993. Before that, she served as Vice President, Consumer Marketing, Ruder Finn Public Relations which she joined in 1987, after spending a year as Account Supervisor, Event Marketing at Lucker and Company in New York. Abrams began her career in entertainment at Arista Records where she was Manager, National AOR/College Radio Promotion. Pam Ritchie joins WBDCD from DirecTV, where she had served as Director of Program Planning & Scheduling since 1993. Prior to that, she spent two years as a programming consultant for The Disney Channel, following an eight-year stint as Senior Supervisor of Program Scheduling at The Disney Channel. Libby Kauper most recently served as Production Administrator, Original Programming, Warner Bros. Domestic Pay-TV, Cable & Network Features, a post she had held since 1998. Before that, she served as Sales Coordinator simultaneously for that division and for WarnerVision, a part of the Warner Music Group. Previously, Kauper spent six years at G.K. Hall Publishers, Boston, a division of Charles Scribner Sons Publishing, lastly serving as an Editor. Sean Broedow joins WBDCD after serving five years at DirecTV, as Manager of Program Scheduling. Previously, he worked at Bank of America in Operational Statistics, tracking and reporting management support documentation. Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution is one of the leading suppliers of programming to the cable and satellite marketplaces. The new Burbank-based division manages and supplies approximately 8,000 Warner Bros. programming assets to a dozen broadcast networks, 30 pay television networks, and nearly 100 basic cable networks.
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