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BMG gears to divide into 4 units

Media conglomerate Bertelsmann will be restructuring its entire corporate structure into four divisions based on product. Each division will be governed by its own board of directors.

Effective Jan. 1, a book division will be established that will centrally administer all of Bertelsmann’s printed book holdings, including publishing, book clubs and technical publications. An Entertainment division also will come into being on that day, divided into two sections: Music and Video; and Film, Broadcast, Television and Electronic Storage Media.

Bertelsmann’s Printing and Industry division (UDI) will not be affected. Publisher Gruner & Jahr is already an established periodical product division.

Governing boards will be comprised of outside directors from Bertelsmann’s executive board, representatives of top management and external members, including former execs. The boards’ executive directors will be culled from individual division heads.

According to an internal memo circulated by Bertelsmann supremo Mark Wossner, the restructuring of the divisions and boards of the company will aid in strategy planning and internal politics, as well as aiding coordination.

In Bertelsmann’s Entertainment division, BMG chief Michael Dornemann and Electronic Media head Manfred Lahnstein will head the 1993 executive board. They will continue to oversee their respective divisions.

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