McGrath gets prexy post at U Studios arm

J. Brian McGrath has been named to the new post of president, international, Universal Studios Recreation Group, and will be responsible for all international activities of the unit, including the oversight of the company’s planned theme park in Japan. McGrath, whose promotion is effective immediately, reports to Cathy Nichols, chairman of Universal Studios Recreation Group.

McGrath continues as senior VP of international business development for Universal Studios, working closely with the divisions in the development of their international strategies and serving on the operating committees of foreign distribution unit UIP, foreign homevideo label CIC and foreign exhibition chain UCI.

McGrath also continues to serve as the company’s liaison with Matsushita Electrical Industrial Co., which maintains a 20% ownership stake in Universal Studios.

“The creation of this strategic position illustrates our commitment to building the Universal brand of recreation activities globally, and we expect to benefit greatly from Brian’s depth of international business experience,” Nichols said Monday in a statement.

Before joining Universal in October, McGrath held a number of senior executive positions in entertainment, marketing, investment banking and sports, most recently serving as commissioner of the Thoroughbred Racing Assns. He previously was president and CEO of ISL Marketing in Lucerne, Switzerland, a leading sports marketing company. McGrath’s previous experience includes Columbia Pictures, Coca-Cola Television and Viacom.

McGrath and Nichols were traveling to Japan and were unavailable for comment Monday.

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