Sony taps vid prez

In an effort to position itself in the global marketplace, Sony Pictures Entertainment has named Benjamin S. Feingold as president of Columbia TriStar Home Video, filling the void left by the recent departure of W. Pat Campbell.

The veteran dealmaker was tapped for the top spot to expand the company’s reach into the worldwide markets, integrating the various Sony Pictures Entertainment entities into the vidarm’s product release slate.

“The video business is going to undertake a profound change in the ’90s,” Feingold said. “My broad-based knowledge will give me the background to allow this premier distribution organization to take advantage of every business opportunity.”

Feingold, while declining to discuss the company’s short-term strategy, said CTHV would tap into the various Sony companies, such as music and electronic publishing, to develop what he termed the “Sony superhighway,” creating products that would signal the company’s forward push as a player in the global marketplace.

With the flattening of rental revenues in the domestic homevideo industry, and the slowing of sell-through growth, companies are looking toward foreign territories, Southeast Asia, China and South America among them, as additional outlets and income sources.

“Ben’s background in a variety of entertainment (areas) gives him the ability to have a vision,” said Mel Harris, president of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s TV group, to whom Feingold will report. “And this vision, along with his passion about the future with growth, will lead our homevideo enterprise into the future.”

Feingold, in his previous post as senior VP of corporate development, was instrumental in developing several successful strategic alliances with Sony’s filmed entertainment businesses, including the venture with Castle Rock Entertainment. He also implemented new approaches in the operations of the company’s motion picture, TV and homevideo divisions.

Campbell left CTHV to take a senior management post with Ameritech, a telco with ties to the interactive arena.

Feingold, who will be based in Burbank, joined Sony Pictures Entertainment in 1988 as its corporate counsel.

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