(August 31, 2006 – Burbank, CA) – Warner Bros. International Television Distribution (WBITD) is establishing a new structure for its European management team, with WBITD veterans Robert Blair and Jose “Pepe” Abad splitting oversight of the European sales force and Alex Ogilvie heading business development and operations. Additionally, WBITD has named a new Vice President & General Manager for Canada in Mickie Steinmann; elevated Nicky Wood to Vice President and added Scandinavia to her portfolio; and announced that Joanna Murchie will oversee sales efforts for the Czech Republic and Hungary. These announcements were made today by Jeffrey R. Schlesinger, President, Warner Bros. International Television. Blair, who has managed WBITD’s Canadian sales efforts for the past eight years, most recently as Vice President & General Manager, Canadian Operations, has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Northern Europe, and he will relocate from Toronto to London (UK) to oversee the company’s sales executives responsible for the UK, Germany, Scandinavia, Benelux, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Abad, a 10-year WBITD veteran who serves as Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Southern Europe, currently oversees sales efforts in Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus and will expand his purview to include managing France. Ogilvie, previously Vice President, Business Development, Europe, has been named Senior Vice President, Business Development and Operations, and will serve as the company’s chief management executive on the Continent. He joins Blair and Abad to form WBITD’s senior leadership team for Europe. Blair and Abad will report to Schlesinger; Ogilvie will report to Ronald Miele, Executive Vice President, Business Affairs, Operations and General Counsel. Transitioning into the position vacated by Blair is Mickie Steinmann, who currently serves as Vice President, Sales, with oversight of Scandinavia, Benelux, Israel and the Middle East. He has been promoted to Vice President & General Manager, Canadian Operations and will relocate from London (UK) to Toronto, reporting to Malcolm Dudley-Smith, Executive Vice President, Sales and Business Development. Nicky Wood, who previously handled the Czech Republic and Hungary as Sales Director, Eastern Europe, is being promoted to Vice President and will add Scandinavia to the list of countries for which she is responsible, namely Russia, Ukraine, Poland and South Africa. She will report to Blair. Joanna Murchie, Sales Director, Central and Eastern Europe, will now, in addition to her current territory responsibilities, serve as WBITD’s point person for the Czech Republic and Hungary, reporting to Wood. “These promotions perfectly exemplify our on-going philosophy to promote from within by developing great talent and keeping them challenged,” said Schlesinger. “These accomplished individuals are all versatile, smart, strategic and effective sales executives and leaders, and I look forward to working with them in their new capacities.” The implementation of this new structure follows the promotion and relocation of Simon Kenny, who had previously served as Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Europe and the announcement today that Christoper Law, who currently serves as Managing Director, UK, Warner Bros. International Television Distribution, has been promoted to Senior Vice President and Managing Director, adding UK Digital Distribution (see separate release) to his responsibilities. As regards linear television Law will now focus his efforts solely on the UK and Eire, where he will continue to license all WBITD programming to all forms of linear television and in so doing report to Blair. Abad joined WBITD as a sales executive for Spain and Portugal in 1996 and was promoted to Managing Director, Spain & Portugal, Warner Bros. International Television Distribution in 1999 and, for a couple of years, served as joint Managing Director, Spain and Portugal for WBITD and Turner Broadcasting System. He was named Senior Vice President, Southern Europe in 2004. Prior to joining WBITD, Abad worked at Televisio Valenciana (TVV), first as an acquisition and co-production executive from 1989-1991, followed by serving as Head of Programme Acquisitions from 1991-1996. Abad holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in English language and literature from the University of Valencia. A multilingual executive, Abad is fluent in Spanish, English and Italian. Blair joined WBITD in 1998 as General Manager, Canadian Operations and was promoted to Vice President, & General Manager, Canadian Operations in 2000. Before that, he was with PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, where for three years, he served as Director of Television, responsible for the sales, marketing and administration of all PolyGram and ITC properties to Canadian television. Prior to that, he held numerous positions with Canadian companies in the domestic and international distribution and production business. Blair began his career in the consumer products industry at Polaroid Canada. Blair holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance from the University of Western Ontario. Ogilvie has been Vice President, Business Development, Europe for WBITD since 2003. He joined the company from MTV Europe, where, during the previous 10 years, he had served as Vice President, Financial Planning; Vice President, Finance and Operations and, ultimately, Commercial Director , MTV Northern Europe. While at MTV, he launched several localized MTV channels—including MTV, VH1 and Nickelodeon—throughout Europe, as well as negotiated numerous joint ventures. Prior to that, Ogilvie worked for five years as Finance Director for Paramount Pictures in Europe. He began his career at Arthur Andersen, where, for three years, he served as a senior auditor. Steinmann joined WBITD in 2000 from Columbia TriStar International Television, where he served as Director, International Television Sales, responsible for Scandinavia, Finland, Benelux, Greece, Cyprus and Israel. He was promoted to Vice President, Sales, handling Scandinavia, Benelux and Finland and adding Israel and pan regional Middle Eastern satellite services to his purview. Prior to that, he served for three years as Vice President, International Television Sales for Gaumont in Paris, where he was responsible for sales in Western Europe, North and South America. Before that, Steinmann was Vice President, International Sales for Fox Lorber International, responsible for sales in Western Europe, South America and Asia. From 1991-1993, he served as Director, International Sales for Alfred Haber, Inc., during which he also served as a coordinating producer for the European broadcasts of the U.S. Open. Steinmann began his career as an intern at All American Television, followed by a two year stint as a television market analyst at HRP, Inc. A multi-lingual executive, Steinmann speaks Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Flemish, French and Spanish. Wood joined WBITD in 2004 as Sales Director, Eastern Europe and South Africa from BSkyB where she was Head of Acquisitions for the Sky One channels. Prior to that, she served for two-and-a-half years as Vice President, Acquisitions for Viasat Broadcasting where she oversaw the acquisition needs for the broadcasting division of Scandinavia’s Modern Times Group in seven territories and has also worked in acquisition roles at the BBC and Channel 4 UK. Warner Bros. International Television Distribution is one of the world’s largest distributors of feature films, television programs and animation to the international television marketplace (broadcast, pay cable, basic cable, satellite, pay-per-view, video-on-demand, digital platforms, etc.). It licenses some 48,000 hours of programming (including more than 6,000 features and 74 current series), dubbed or subtitled in more than 40 languages, to telecasters and cablecasters in more than 175 countries.
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