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Berlusconis tighten grip on Mediaset

Son appointed new VP

MILAN — Mediaset opted Thursday not to replace former CEO Maurizio Carlotti after his exit, thus tightening the Berlusconi family’s grip on Italy’s largest commercial broadcaster.

The annual shareholders meeting confirmed Fedele Confalonieri as president of Silvio Berlusconi’s TV group and Piersilvio Berlusconi, 30, son of the media tycoon-turned-politician, as the new VP of Mediaset.

Piersilvio Berlusconi’s appointment will take place May 4 at a Mediaset board meeting during which the many duties formerly held by Carlotti will be split among Confalonieri, Piersilvio and Mediaset co-chief exec Giuliano Adreani.

Carlotti to Telefonica

Carlotti is expected to move to Spain’s Telefonica, where he will manage the group’s media activities.

Piersilvio Berlusconi was appointed president of Mediaset’s RTI television unit last Tuesday, also replacing Carlotti in this position.

It’s not yet clear who will oversee the group’s international strategy, which was Carlotti’s main priority. His efforts culminated in Epsilon, the production and distribution alliance with Germany’s Kirch Group.

Until the expected political elections in April 2001, Berlusconi will concentrate on campaigning for re-election as prime minister. His TV networks are expected to strongly support his political aspirations.

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