(April 21, 2009 – Burbank, CA) – Highly respected veteran television executive Tom Cerio has joined Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution (WBDTD) as the company’s new Executive Vice President, Cable Sales. In this role, Cerio will manage WBDTD’s newly reorganized cable distribution team and will oversee the licensing of all Warner Bros. Entertainment programming – including television series, theatrical motion pictures, animation and original digital productions – to pay television, premium and basic cable networks, and satellite services throughout the United States. Additionally, Cerio will spearhead the sale of theatrical motion pictures to broadcast television networks. Cerio joins WBDTD from HBO and will report to WBDTD President Ken Werner, who made the announcement today. The reorganization announced today completes the integration of the former Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution (WBDCD) division and its sales operation into WBDTD to form a single domestic television distribution organization. “Tom Cerio is one of the most talented and innovative distribution executives in the television industry. Over the span of his career, he has proven to be an outstanding leader, possessing great vision, and whose judgment and ability has created an unshakeable bond of trust and confidence with his clients,” said Werner. “We know Tom will make an already strong team stronger, and we are thrilled to welcome him to Warner Bros.” Concurrent with Cerio’s joining the company, WBDTD has announced a restructuring of its cable sales operations. WBDTD has named Gus Lucas, a nine-year veteran of the Studio, to the newly created position of Executive Vice President, Strategic Sales & Planning. In his new position, Lucas will report to Cerio and work closely with him in identifying new business opportunities for the division and maximizing the value of all existing Warner Bros. assets. Werner said, “Gus is a programmer and scheduler par excellence. Prior to moving into sales at Warner Bros., Gus held top programming positions at major broadcast and cable networks, where he distinguished himself. His knowledge of our library combined with his programming and sales background make him an invaluable member of our team.” Mike Russo will continue in his sales role with the company and has been named Senior Vice President, West Coast Cable Sales. Dan Menzel has been tapped as the division’s new Vice President, Cable Sales, based in New York. A nearly nine-year veteran of the Studio, Russo will shift his portfolio of to cover all West Coast clients, while Menzel will be responsible for certain East Coast–based clients. “We are fortunate to have such extremely gifted executives as Mike, Gus and Dan joining Tom,” continued Werner. “We have in place an extraordinary team whose passion, focus and intellect will guide Warner Bros. and our clients as we all navigate through ever-changing and challenging times.” Immediately prior to his appointment, Cerio served as Executive Vice President, Program Distribution, at HBO since March 2003, where he oversaw the creation of the network’s distribution unit and supervised the off-HBO launches of “The Sopranos” and “Sex and the City,” working closely with WBDTD on the latter. Before joining HBO, Cerio spent 13 years at The Walt Disney Company, rising progressively through the sales ranks at the company, ultimately becoming Executive Vice President & National Sales Manager at Buena Vista Television. In that role, he oversaw all broadcast, basic cable and syndication sales, managing a team of 17 national executives generating more than a half billion dollars of revenue annually, and supervising the launches of programs like “Live with Regis and Kelly,” “Home Improvement,” “My Wife and Kids” and “The Golden Girls,” among others. Cerio got his start in television at Filmways/Orion Pictures, where he worked for a decade in syndication sales prior to joining Disney. During this period, he became one of the first industry executives to sell on multiple platforms for the emerging basic cable business, in addition to syndication. He innovated new business strategies and sold one of the first major off-network series, “Cagney and Lacey,” to basic cable. Cerio is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island. Lucas joined the Studio in 2000 as Senior Vice President, Cable Sales, and was promoted to Executive Vice President, WBDCD, in 2004. In his tenure, he has been integrally involved in innovative licensing deals for series, movies and specials with more than 35 basic cable networks, including the “Harry Potter” film franchise with ABC Family, “George Lopez” with Nick at Nite, “Gilmore Girls” with SOAPNet and many others. Before joining the Studio, Lucas was President, Programming, at The Family Channel for three years, where he was responsible for all commercial programming. Before that, he served as Executive Vice President, Viacom Entertainment Group & President, West Coast Operations and Viacom Productions, for seven years, charged with the overall creative, financial and production management of Viacom Productions. Lucas began his entertainment career at ABC and rose to Vice President & Assistant to the President, ABC Entertainment, where he was responsible for overseeing network series programming, program planning and scheduling, specials, and on-air and print promotion. He holds a degree in finance and marketing from Syracuse University. Russo joined Warner Bros. in 2001, as Vice President, Sales, WBDCD, and was later promoted to Senior Vice President, Sales. Before joining the company, Russo served as Vice President, Worldwide Pay Television and Networks Group, Universal Studios, for five years. Previously, Russo spent seven years at ITC/Polygram Television, rising to Executive Vice President, Domestic Television. He began his career in television as an account executive and, later, Eastern Sales Manager for Hal Roach Studios/Qintex Entertainment. Menzel re-joins WBDTD after serving as Director of National Sales at Yahoo! Sports. Prior to his position at Yahoo!, Menzel had worked for WBDTD for 10 years, most recently heading up the Chicago syndication program sales office as Vice President, Central Sales, after having headed WBDTD’s Atlanta syndication program sales office as Vice President, Southeast Sales. Before joining WBDTD the first time, Menzel was Division Manager at Twentieth Television, based in Atlanta. He had previously served as Sales Director at ITC for the Northeast and Southeast regions, and as a sales, planning and pricing analyst at the NBC Owned and Operated Stations in New York. He began his entertainment career as a research analyst at Seltel. Menzel is a graduate of Syracuse University, where he holds dual bachelor of science degrees in communications and business from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and the Crouse-Hinds School of Management.
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