Carlotti’s exit from Mediaset expected

Power struggle to end in Italian TV group

MILAN — Mediaset CEO Maurizio Carlotti is expected to resign this week ending a power struggle within the top management of Silvio Berlusconi’s TV group and Italy’s largest broadcaster, sources close to Mediaset said over the weekend.

“Carlotti did not present his resignation. Up to now, there is nothing new. But something might happen in the next few days,” a Mediaset representative told Daily Variety. Others within the company, who preferred to remain anonymous, said the CEO already sent his letter of resignation to the Mediaset board but the group was still evaluating how and when to react.

The timing for a top management shakeup is delicate: At this week’s Mip international TV market in Cannes, Mediaset is expected to present the operative launch of its much ballyhooed alliance with Germany’s Kirch Group, a project that is largely a creation of Carlotti.

Stock tumbles on resignation report

After Italy’s leading daily Corriere della Sera wrote Friday that Carlotti was going to be forced out of Berlusconi’s commercial television empire, the Milan stock market reacted negatively and Mediaset shares dropped 5%.

Carlotti, 47, former head of Mediaset’s Spanish TV subsidiary Tele Cinco, which he brought back from the brink of bankruptcy, has been in command of Mediaset since July 1998 and has ruffled many feathers in the group’s top management, which includes many old Berlusconi loyalists.

While a battle with advertising supremo Mario Brugola ended with Brugola’s resignation, recent rows with Mediaset prexy and Berlusconi confidant Fedele Confalonieri and other execs compelled the Berlusconi family to take action, forcing Carlotti to resign, sources said.

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