Exec VP to fill position vacated by Marcus

The hole left with last week’s departure of Buena Vista TV prexy Mort Marcus won’t remain vacant for long as exec VP Janice Marinelli is all but certain to ascend to the top spot today, studio insiders said.

Her responsibilities will now include supervising all sales in broadcast syndication, basic cable, Pay-Per-View and domestic TV.

The move had been expected in the wake of Marcus’ departure (Daily Variety, Nov. 11.)

Marinelli has served as exec VP of sales at Buena Vista TV since 1996, and has served at the company since 1985. During her career, she developed the sales strategy and led the team that sold “Home Improvement” into syndication in 1995, making it the second-highest grossing off-net sitcom in syndication history.

Marinelli has also orchestrated the sale of “The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show” and “Disney’s Honey I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show” into syndication.

Marinelli takes over with upcoming talker “Ainsley Harriott” already cleared in more than 90% of the country and an oft-rumored strip in development for ABC’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” for fall 2000. This season, the studio launched variety format “Your Big Break” as a weekly hour and stripped “Unhappily Ever After” for off-net repeats.

Marcus vacated his slot after a five-year run atop the Disney TV arm. He will now head up sales at the Disney-owned Internet portal Go.com.

Buena Vista execs had no comment on Marinelli’s promotion.

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