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Yesterday β€” March 22nd 2019Broadband TV News: People

Enrique Rodriguez nominated as director Telenet

By Robert Briel

The Board of Directors of Telenet are nominating Enrique Rodriguez, EVP and CTO at Liberty Global, to be appointed as director of Telenet Group Holding NV in the run up to the general meeting of 24 April 2019.

The nomination follows after Diederik Karsten resigned voluntarily on 15 February 2019,

Enrique Rodriguez is the Executive Vice President & Chief Technology Officer at Liberty Global, he joined the company in July 2018.

Before this, he was CEO and a member of the Board of Directors at TiVo. His experience in the entertainment sector doesn’t stop here: from 2015 to 2017 he was Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at AT&T Entertainment Group.

The years before this, he worked at, among others, Sirius XM, Cisco Systems’ Service Provider Video Technology Group, Microsoft and Thomason/RCA. He started his career after his studies as engineer at the Instituto Tecnologico de Monterrey (Mexico).

Before yesterdayBroadband TV News: People

O2 Czech promotes Pavel Milec

By Chris Dziadul

Pavel Milec has been appointed the new HR director at O2 in the Czech Republic.

He has also become a member of the board of directors of the O2 Foundation.

Milec joined O2 in 2007 as a project manager. He was director of customer satisfaction at O2 Slovakia in the years 2010-12 before returning to O2 Czech as director of call centres in 2013.

O2 is the leading IPTV operator in the Czech Republic.

New role for Kira Laskari at National Media Group

By Chris Dziadul

Kira Laskari has been appointed the brand management director at Russia’s National Media Group (NMG).

Commenting on the development, Olga Paskina, general director of NMG, said: “One of the key elements of our strategy is the qualitative strengthening of each of the brands in the NMG portfolio. Effective brand management in our case involves not just a creative approach, but also a dynamic analysis of the situation, the ability to perform complex tasks in real time. Kira Lascari with his expertise, experience and talent is the best suited for this unique role, I am glad that he accepted this challenge, and I wish good luck.”

Laskari headed the channel CTC Love from March 2017 until the present. During that time, he oversaw the rebranding of the CTC and CTC Love channels, while at the same time the creation of the brands MoreTV, CTC Kids, NMG Studio and Media Telekom from scratch.

Meanwhile, Olga Zadorozhnaya has been appointed the acting director of CTC Love. She will combine this with the posution of programme director of CTC channels, which she has occupied since 2016.

Vyacheslav Murugov, general director of CTC Media, said: “Kira showed himself as a bright, extraordinary leader who is always looking for new ways to surprise the audience. I wish him success in the new duties! CTC Love is waiting for small changes, but the channel will retain all its basic basic features that have made it popular, the main one of which is endless faith in love. ”

Discovery promotes Keith Kazerman

By Chris Dziadul

Discovery has promoted Keith Kazerman to executive VP, digital sales, advanced advertising and research, effective immediately.

Commenting on the development, Jon Steinlauf, chief US ad sales officer for Discovery, to whom Kazerman reports, said: “Discovery’s ad sales team is continuing to prioritise and drive our digital businesses in 2019 and beyond, and now is the time to have a singular leader spearheading these important initiatives.

“With his strong client solutions-based background, as well as his advanced advertising expertise, Keith is well positioned to grow our enhanced advertising and data-driven products, while maintaining our exceptional advertiser service.”

In this newly created role, Kazerman will lead all digital ad sales teams responsible for driving digital revenue efforts across Discovery’s TV Everywhere Go apps and VOD, as well as website and social media platforms. He will continue to oversee Discovery’s enhanced advertising business, research and addressable data-driven products. Lauri Baker, SVP digital ad sales, and Aaron Gallagher, SVP digital ad sales, will report directly to Kazerman under the new structure.

Kazerman most recently served as group SVP, research, data and engage at Discovery. In this role, he built and oversaw Discovery Engage, the company’s state-of-the-art data management and analytics platform for targeting, optimisation and measurement to deliver greater effectiveness and impact for client’s ads. Kazerman also oversaw Discovery’s ad sales marketing and client solutions sales, leading the teams dedicated to branded entertainment partnerships.

Kazerman brings over 20 years of sales experience to his new role. Prior to joining Discovery in 2015, he spent 10 years at DirecTV, serving as SVP, national ad sales.

Board changes at Cyfrowy Polsat

By Chris Dziadul

Dariusz Dzialkowski and Tomasz Gillner-Gorywoda have resigned from their positions of members of the management board at Poland’s Cyfrowy Polsat, effective March 31, 2019.

In a statement, the company says they did not give reasons for their resignations. It adds that Cyfrowy Polsat’s supervisory board has since appointed Jacek Felczykowski, an existing member of the board of Polkomtel, a member of the management board of Cyfrowy Polsat, effective April 1, 2019.

The company concludes by saying that Jacek Felczykowski does not conduct activities that are competitive to the operations of Cyfrowy Polsat and is not entered into the Registry of Insolvent Debtors held by the Registry Court.

Eutelsat appoints Julie Burguburu as new company secretary

By Robert Briel

Eutelsat Communications has appointed Julie Burguburu as Company Secretary of the Group and a member of the Executive Committee, effective March 15.

Julie will oversee Eutelsat’s legal, compliance, regulatory and governance issues by heading the company’s teams in charge of these functions. She will succeed Edouard Silverio, who has decided to pursue new professional projects beyond Eutelsat.

As a senior counsel member (“maître de requêtes”) to the French Conseil d’Etat, Julie Burguburu was, up until now, a State rapporteur to the Administrative Litigation Division. She has held several top management positions in the French State administration. From 2014 to 2016, she was Deputy Chief-of-Staff to Claude Bartolone, President of France’s National Assembly, then from 2016 to 2017, to Bernard Cazeneuve, in his role of Interior Minister and then Prime Minister.

Julie previously spent four years in Shanghai, China, where she was Vice-President of Veolia China, with the responsibility of transforming the company. In particular, she steered the reorganisation of the Chinese and Japanese structures as well as the merger of Veolia’s water and waste management entities in China. Prior to that, she had served seven years at the French Conseil d’Etat from 2003 to 2010.

“The appointment of Julie Burguburu to Eutelsat marks a new chapter for our Group and our top management,” commented Rodolphe Belmer, Eutelsat CEO.

“In light of the increasing standards, laws and ongoing developments in the regulations related to compliance and governance, in a constantly changing industry, Julie’s contribution will be decisive in providing us with the support and guidance we need to carry out and accelerate our Group’s transformation. I would also like to express my gratitude to Edouard for his significant contribution to the success of our company over the past eight years.”

Maciej Stanecki dismissed from TVP board

By Chris Dziadul

Poland’s National Media Council (RMN) has dismissed Maciej Stanecki from the board of the Polish public broadcaster TVP.

At the same time, according to Presservis, it has appointed Marzena Paczuska and Piotr Palka as members of the TVP board.

Meanwhile, Jacek Kurski has retained his position as the president of TVP.

Paczuska has until now been an advisor to the president in the journalism and information department, while Palka has worked in TVP’s programming department since June 2018.

Rzeczpospolita has reported that the changes in TVP’s board are due to the country’s President Duda vetoing a bill on the financing of TVP.

Deezer hires Laurence Miall-d’AoΓ»t as chief commercial officer

By Julian Clover

Music streaming service Deezer has appointed Liberty Global’s Laurence Miall-d’Août as its chief commercial officer.

Miall-d’Août will be responsible for Deezer’s B2B activities around the world, including local and global partnerships, business development and advertising sales, as well as public relations.

“Laurence brings a wealth of commercial experience and a long track record in ad monetization, partnership strategies and business growth. I’m excited to welcome her to our senior management team and look forward to working with her to accelerate our growth across the world’” said Hans-Holger Albrecht, CEO of Deezer

During her three years at Liberty, Miall-d’Août was VP Advanced Data and Advertising, responsible for launching new advertising models and partnerships.

She was CEO at TVbeat, a total audience marketing start-up and spent over 10 years at Modern Times Group in various roles including as Executive Vice President of FreeTV, co-Managing Director of the UK operations and CEO of PayTV in Russia and CEE. She graduated from Edhec business school in France and holds an MBA from INSEAD.

“I have been a Deezer user for the last 4 years and love the product. It’s a great time to join the company. Music streaming is already the most popular way to consume music and this is only going to continue to grow. We have lots of opportunities ahead of us and I look forward to being part of that journey together with the rest of Deezer’s team,” said Miall-d’Août.

She’ll join Deezer’s London office on April 2.

New delay for Konstantin Kamenarov trial

By Chris Dziadul

The trial of Konstantin Kamenarov, the DG of the Bulgarian public broadcaster BTN, has been postponed for the seventh time.

Capital reports that he is accused of drunk driving and the reason for the latest delay is the illness of one of the three judges on the panel.

It adds that in criminal proceedings it is inadmissible to change the judicial panel once the case has begun.

The case against Kamenarov began to be heard around a year ago and the previous postponements have been due actions undertaken by his defence. The next hearing is now expected to take place of March 25.

Kamenarov risks losing his job as the Radio and Television Act clearly states the imposition of a prison sentence, whether conditional or actual, are incompatible with holding the post of the DG of BNT or its radio counterpart.

Some believe that the delays are being implemented in order to run down the clock to this summer, when Kamenarov’s mandate will officially end.

Dan Ionita joins RCS&RDS board

By Chris Dziadul

Dan Ionita has been confirmed a non-executive member of the board of directors of RCS&RDS, the leading pay-TV operator in Romania.

Ionita has held the position of financial co-director at the company since 2015, having joined it as a reporting manager in 2007 and been promoted to financial manager the following year.

Prior to his experience in electronic communications, he worked in business audit and consultancy.

Meanwhile, Valentin Popoviciu, VP of RCS&RDS, has been made an executive member of its council with decision making powers and representation of its mobile business.

With these changes, the company’s council is now composed of Serghei Bulgac (president of the council and DG), Valentin Popviciu (VP, executive member), Mihai Dinei (non-executive member), Dan Ionita (non-executive member) and Bogdan Ciobotaru (non-executive member).

Kelly Bennett stepping down as Netflix Chief Marketing Officer

By Robert Briel

Netflix’s Chief Marketing Officer Kelly Bennett has decided to step down from the company after seven years in the role.

Kelly joined Netflix in 2012 and has led the company’s marketing efforts as it grew from 26 million to more than 139 million paid subscribers (or ‘members’ in Netspeak) around the world today.

Bennett joined Netflix after nearly a decade at Warner Bros. where he was most recently Vice President Interactive, World Wide Marketing with the pictures group, leading international online campaigns for Warner Bros. movies. Before that Kelly ran digital marketing for Warner Bros. Pictures in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and worked in promotion and business development at the company.

“He’s been instrumental in helping to make Netflix a much loved brand – and pioneered the company’s campaigning approach to the launch of its original content.”

Kelly will stay in his role for a transitional period until a new CMO is named.

“Kelly Bennett has been absolutely transformational for us as we expanded our member base in the US and globally, and particularly as we transitioned into being a leader in original series and films,” said Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO.

“He has been a source of inspiration both inside Netflix and in presenting our brand to the world, and we are thankful for his enormous contributions.”

“The past seven years have been the most rewarding of my professional life, and we are at the top of our game, which is why this was the right moment for me to retire,” said Kelly Bennett.

“I am immensely proud of the team we have built and all that has been accomplished during my time here – and I will continue to be Netflix’s greatest fan.”

Nick Thexton joins ProSiebenSat.1 as CTO

By JΓΆrn Krieger

German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 has appointed Nick Thexton to the newly created position of Chief Technology Officer, as the company continues to advance the technological transformation of its business.

The 56-year-old British national, who has worked as a developer and manager in the international entertainment and telecommunications industry for over 30 years, will assume his position in June 2019 and report to CEO Max Conze. Thexton will also become a member of ProSiebenSat.1’s executive board.

“More than ever before, success in the entertainment business is based on continuous technological progress. Therefore, we are delighted that a true technology innovator such as Nick Thexton is joining us to support ProSiebenSat.1 and take us to the next level,” said Conze.

Thexton joins the German media company from satellite operator Inmarsat, where he has been Chief Digital & Product Officer and a member of the executive management board since 2017. Previously, he was Chief Technology Officer of UK-based TV platform YouView.

Digi CEO sells shares

By Chris Dziadul

Serghei Bulgac, the CEO and executive director of Digi Communications, has sold a total of x shares in the company since the beginning of this month.

In two separate announcements, Digi says that the first batch consisted of 75,123 class B shares and the second of 2,388 class B shares. Ziarul Financiar estimates the total value of the sold shares to be RON2 million (€420,700).

Digi is a leading provider of pay-TV services in Romania (RCS&RDS) and also has a strong presence in neighbouring Hungary.

Synamedia hires Mark Billinge and Avidan Lamdan

By Julian Clover

Video software provider Synamedia has expanded its senior team with the appointment of Mark Billinge from OSN, and Avidan Lamdan from Kaltura.

They’ll be responsible for refining and driving Synamedia’s platform, operations and services to meet current and future market demands.

“The energy around Synamedia’s proposition and vision is attracting exceptional new talent from across the industry,” says Jean-Marc Racine, chief product officer and general manager EMEA, Synamedia. While Mark brings a deep understanding of customers’ pain points and challenges and operational expertise, Avidan’s track record in OTT and cloud-based services is second to none. These new hires will help us continue to deliver innovative solutions and services that help pay-TV broadcasters, web services and media owners transform their businesses and embrace the new world of infinite entertainment,”

Billinge has spent 12 years at OSN, the last six as CTO. He will lead Synamedia’s services product management team, ensuring that the firm’s growing range of services match clients product and portfolio needs.

Lamdan will lead Synamedia’s Foundation and Infinite product management teams – including the Cloud DVR solution, which is integrated with Infinite and is also offered as a standalone solution. Lamdan was Kaltura’s SVP Strategy and before that Senior Vice President, Products and VP R&D. Previously, Avidan was CTO and VP of R&D at Tvinci until Kaltura acquired the business in 2014.

Bob Greenblatt to chair WarnerMedia Entertainment

By Julian Clover

WarnerMedia has announced changes to its management team following the AT&T acquisition.

Robert Greenblatt, most recently chairman at NBC Entertainment, will chair WarnerMedia Entertainment, which includes HBO, TNT and TBS. He’ll also be responsible for the direct-to-consumer business.

Former RTL boss Gerhard Zeiler is promoted from President, Turner International to become WarnerMedia’s chief revenue officer. His role will be to bring together all of the WarnerMedia network affiliate sales and advertising sales businesses.

WarnerMedia News & Sports will include CNN Worldwide (CNN, CNN.com, CNN International, CNN en Español, HLN, Great Big Story), Turner Sports, Bleacher Report and the AT&T Regional Sports Networks. Jeff Zucker will take on an expanded role as chairman, WarnerMedia News & Sports, and President, CNN

“We have done an amazing job establishing our brands as leaders in the hearts and minds of consumers,” said Stankey. “Adding Bob Greenblatt to the WarnerMedia family and expanding the leadership scope and responsibilities of Jeff, Kevin and Gerhard – who collectively have more than 80 years of global media experience and success – gives us the right management team to strategically position our leading portfolio of brands, world-class talent and rich library of intellectual property for future growth.”

A new Global Kids & Young Adults business brings together the family, kids and animation from across WarnerMedia, including Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang. Additionally, Otter Media, Turner Classic Movies and all activities around licensed consumer products development for WarnerMedia properties will also be a part of this business.

Wojciech Rzazewski joins nc+

By Chris Dziadul

Wojciech Rzazewski has been appointed the director of digital products at the Polish DTH platform nc+.

In his new role, effective March 4, he will be responsible for the development of digital products and services.

Rzazewski has many years of experience in this field and was most recently at Ringier Axel Springer Polska, where he was the development director for online products and oversaw the company’s digital activities, including internet services, mobile applications and social media.

Prior to that, as the chief digital officer, he was responsible for, amongst others, the creation and implementation of a product strategy for online channels and the digital transformation of print titles in the Ringier Axel Springer Polska portfolio.

Inea promotes Michal Bartowiak

By Chris Dziadul

Michal Bartowiak has been appointed the VP of the Polish cable operator Inea.

Hitherto a member of the board responsible for the company’s operational affairs, he will continue to sit on the board alongside Janusz Kosinski, the founder and president of Inea, Eugeniusz Grzybek and Piotr Sujecki.

Bartowiak has over 20 years of experience in several industries including FMCG, pharmaceuticals and IT and joined Inea as a member of the board responsible for the company’s financial affairs.

Commenting of the latest change, effective March 1, Janusz Kosinski said: “The changes in the management structure are aimed at strengthening the company’s position and its support in implementing the long-term development strategy of Inea as the owner of fibre optic infrastructure.

“I wish Michal good luck, because there are many new, ambitious challenges ahead of us, related to with the start of our operations outside of Wielkopolska (region of western Poland)”.

Inea is one of the five leading cable operators in Poland and the largest in Wielkopolska.

Turner promotes Anke Greifeneder

By Chris Dziadul

Turner EMEA has promoted Anke Greifeneder to the new position of VP original productions EMEA.

Greifeneder, who is currently director original productions, Central & Eastern Europe, assumes the role as Turner continues to accelerate its investment in original local general entertainment (GE) content production.She will continue to report directly to Turner EMEA president, Giorgio Stock, and now joins his EMEA executive leadership team.

Commenting on the appointment, Stock said: “Creating original, immersive content helps us connect with existing and new fans, further differentiates our successful branded destinations and provides us greater choice to access exciting additional revenue streams.

“Anke’s expertise in finding and shaping great scripts, attracting and nurturing best-in-class talent, and executing across both drama and comedy, will help us take our GE ambitions to the next level, at a time when content creation is becoming an increasingly important ingredient in our business strategy.”

Greifeneder will initially focus on Germany, Spain and France. She will also be responsible for exploring opportunities for collaboration with WarnerMedia sister companies.
Greifeneder joined Turner in 2007 as director programming kids & entertainment channels for the German-speaking territories. Since 2013, she has been responsible for Turner’s original productions in Central and Eastern Europe.

Before joining Turner, she worked for MTV, Viva and Comedy Central, among others. She is also a successful author.

Insight TV appoints Mark Romano as VP, Americas

By Robert Briel

Insight TV has appointed Mark Romano as Vice President, Americas. Romano is based in the company’s New York office and reports to Graeme Stanley, Chief Commercial Officer, Insight TV.

In his role with the company, Romano is responsible for managing and negotiating the distribution of Insight TV across all platforms, including MVPDs and OTT, in North America. Previously, he held senior distribution executive roles with One World Sports, Outdoor Channel and Rainbow Media. Most recently, he was Vice President, Strategic Accounts, for Captivate, LLC, commercial real estate’s leading digital media amenity.

“Mark has an incredible track record of building linear, VOD, SVOD and customized platforms for both start-up and established platforms,” said Stanley.

“He joins us at a pivotal time in our growth and evolution. We are enjoying both an increased adoption and appreciation for 4K services and the enhanced customer experience they offer, as well as more and more distribution partnerships across the region. We are confident that Mark will continue to ride this wave and further our access to our enthusiastic fanbase.”

“As MVPDs in the US and Canada are adapting to the changes in our industry, as well as in consumer demand, Insight TV is a service that supports the shift in focus to their broadband business,” said Romano.

“As one of the few linear and streaming services featuring original native 4K UHD content, we consider Insight TV to be an excellent partner to operators that are interested in highlighting the quality and speed of their broadband services.”

MIPTV Unveils 2019 MΓ©dailles d’Honneur

By Robert Briel

MIPTV has announced its 2019 Médailles d’Honneur to be presented during this year’s event.

The 2019 awards will be awarded to: Mosunmola “Mo” Abudu, CEO, EbonyLife Media (Nigeria); Ilene Chaiken, Writer, Showrunner and Producer (USA); Stéphane Courbit, Chairman, Banijay Group (France); and Jane Millichip, Managing Director, Sky Vision (United Kingdom).

The four will receive their MIPTV Médailles d’Honneur at a cocktail and awards ceremony taking place in Cannes, France, at the InterContinental Carlton Hotel on Monday 8 April 2019 . The prestigious MIPTV Médailles d’Honneur are awarded to senior executives who have, through their talent, leadership and passion, made a significant contribution to the world of television and the development of the international TV community.

Mo Abudu, CEO of EbonyLife Media, has been described by Forbes as “Africa’s Most Successful Woman”. One of the most prolific producers in Africa, Abudu launched Nigerian broadcaster and producer EbonyLife TV in 2013, producing over 1,000 hours of original programming each year.

Abudu took the plunge into filmmaking, with the creation of EbonyLife Films. She is the Executive Producer of Fifty, the no.1 Nigerian film of 2015; The Wedding Party (2016), the most successful Nollywood film ever at the Nigerian box office; The Wedding Party 2: Destination Dubai (2017), the highest grossing Nollywood film of all time; and Chief Daddy (2018), the third-highest grossing Nigerian film.

In March 2018, Sony Pictures Television (SPT) announced a three project deal with EbonyLifeTV, the first of its kind between SPT and a Nigerian television company.

Best known for creating the Showtime series “The L Word,” Ilene Chaiken received an Emmy, among many other awards, for Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.” She was the showrunner for the first four seasons of the Golden Globe-nominated Fox series “Empire,” and serves as Executive Producer of “The L Word” reboot, which was recently picked up by Showtime.

Chaiken recently renewed her multi-year producing deal with 20th Century Fox Television, where she is actively developing several new projects for broadcast, cable and television streaming services. Prior to that, she produced the docu-dramas “The Real L Word” and “The Real L Word Mississippi” for Showtime, which won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Documentary. She also executive-produced pilots for Jerry Bruckheimer, McG and Joel Silver, and served as showrunner of the ABC drama series “Black Box.”

Stéphane Courbit is a French entrepreneur and Chairman of Banijay Group. He started his career as a producer for Coyote and in 1994, he formed a partnership with TV producer and host Arthur to create Case Productions, later called ASP Productions. In 1998, Endemol merged with ASP Productions to form Endemol France and Courbit was appointed CEO. In 2006, he sold his shares before leaving the group in 2007 to create LOV Group, which would concentrate investment in growing markets such as audiovisual production, luxury hotels, the Internet and energy sectors.

In January 2008, Courbit created Banijay Group, and in 2016, he triggered the merger between Banijay Group and Zodiak Media, creating the world’s largest independent production and distribution company (one billion euro business), responsible for global hit brands including “Temptation Island,” “Survivor,” “Wife Swap” and “Versailles.”

Jane Millichip is the Managing Director of Sky Vision. Since 2013 she has spearheaded Sky’s investment in nine UK and US production companies; and expanded the distribution business into high-end dramas and primetime factual, delivering 2000% growth, through smart development, deficit-funding and co-production.

Previously, Jane was MD of Zodiak Rights, COO of RDF Rights, Senior Commissioning Editor at Living TV; and MD of South Pacific Pictures in New Zealand, where she was also Executive Producer for entertainment and factual.

“It is a great honour to recognise these four exceptional industry figures, who have each, in their own way, made and continue to make major contributions to the international entertainment content sector, and whose vision and leadership set the standards in their respective fields,” said Laurine Garaude, Director, TV Division, Reed MIDEM, which organises MIPTV.

The international market for both TV content development and distribution, MIPTV takes place in Cannes, France from 8-11 April 2019.

(On the picture from left to right: Mosunmola “Mo” Abudu, Ilene Chaiken, Stéphane Courbit, and Jane Millichip)