Turner Classic Movies ups Karsch to exec VP

Exec also inherits GM duties

NEW YORK — Tom Karsch has been promoted to executive VP and general manager of Turner Classic Movies.

In addition to managing TCM in the U.S., Karsch will act as the global brand manager for the international versions of TCM.

TCM will launch in Spain on Sept. 1. The channel will launch versions in French-speaking countries, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Africa and the Middle East on Oct. 15.

TCM Poland launched last year.

“There are managing directors for each of the overseas networks,” said Karsch, who was most recently senior VP and GM for TCM. “I come in as a brand manager working with the overseas groups to make sure that everything is done with consistency.”

Distribution key

The Atlanta-based Karsch, who will continue to report to TNT and TCM prexy Brad Siegel, said that gaining distribution is still the No. 1 goal for TCM in the U.S.

The commercial-free classic movie cabler has 34 million subscribers domestically.

In addition to Turner’s film library of 3,300 titles, much of them from the old MGM library, the cabler has licensed another 1,500 films to round out its schedule.

Docs on tap

TCM also has begun producing one film-related documentary per quarter.

Barbara Kopple’s documentary on Gregory Peck will premiere in October. TCM has also inked Kevin Brownlow to create a doc on Lon Chaney.

Before joining TCM five years ago, Karsch was VP, sports marketing and networks promotion for TNT.

Prior to joining TNT in 1991, Karsch held several positions at Cablevision Systems’ Rainbow Media, including a stint at TCM competitor American Movie Classics.

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