James F. Cardwell and Edward J. Byrnes have been promoted to executive veepees at Warner Home Video in domestic and international, respectively, as part of the restructuring of the company.
Both joined Warner Communications in 1977, and have worked hand-in-hand in the homevid division for the past decade. The duo will continue reporting directly to division head Warren Lieberfarb.
In a news release, Lieberfarb noted “They’ve both been with our video division since (its inception) in the early 1980s, playing key roles in building this business.”
Byrnes, currently in Paris, told Daily Variety: “The development of the homevideo division of Warner, under Warren’s auspices, has given me an opportunity to participate in building a global infrastructure that has evolved into operations in 45 countries serving both the rental and sell-through businesses.”
Cardwell added, “The continuity and consistency under Warren Lieberfarb’s direction has allowed us to build an enormous business which is well-positioned to take advantage of future homevideo opportunities.”
Lieberfarb praised Cardwell’s “contribution to the management and recent restructuring of our North American operation,” which “enabled us to handle multiple labels and libraries with even greaterefficiency and profitability.”
Cardwell was instrumental in the July ’91 restructuring when the sales force was split into three groups, including one for sell-through.
Rentals were divided into two groups, one for Warner and Cannon Video product and another for HBO Video and MGM/UA Home Video product.
Under Byrnes, WHV’s international operations has expanded both geographically and “also in terms of the types of programming we distribute overseas,” Lieberfarb said.
In addition to feature films, Byrne has upped the ante on long-form TV, including such high-performance product as the pilot and some subsequent episodes of “The Flash,””Stephen King’s ‘It’ ” and “The Thornbirds.” A revamped two-hour pilot of “Twin Peaks” also did well in Japan.
Byrne also has established affiliations in Finland, Czechoslovakia and Portugal. He has forged new licensee relationships in former East bloc countries as well as Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Formerly an accountant in his native England and in East Africa, Cardwell joined Warner in 1977 and was appointed director of financial planning of the homevid division in 1983.
Byrnes joined WHV as managing director of the company’s affiliate in the United Kingdom in ’81. After subsequent promotions during travels in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, he moved to Burbank in ’85 and earned the title of international vice president the following year.