Group licenses WB features, TV skeins, minis
Eric Frankel, prexy of Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution, has hired a team of execs in various departments of the AOL Time Warner division, which relocated from New York to Los Angeles last fall.The core exec team of the division licenses Warner Bros. feature films, TV series, miniseries, TV movies and specials to the pay TV and basic cable markets, as well as feature films to broadcast nets. The functions previously were handled by New York-based Warner Bros. Domestic Pay TV, Cable & Network Features Distribution, and a number of the new hires fill slots that had been vacated by execs who opted not to move West with the revamped division. The exec announcements include the following:
- Gus Lucas, who as senior VP heads the division’s sales force, will be joined by Ron Sunderland, who has been named senior veep of biz and legal affairs. In addition, Donald Putrimas joins the department as VP and controller. Sunderland most recently served as senior VP of biz affairs for AsSeenIn.com. He had been senior veep of biz affairs for Spelling TV before that. Warner alum Putrimas joins the company from Warner Hollywood Studios, where he spent 11 years, most recently as VP/controller.
- Supporting the sales efforts are Mike Russo, who has been named VP sales; Christine Labrecque, veep of sales in New York; Timothy Ramirez, named director of sales; and Linda Abrams, overseeing ad-promo and client communications as VP marketing. Russo joins from Universal Studios, where he had been VP of the worldwide pay TV and networks group. Labrecque remains in the New York office, where she most recently served as VP of pay-per-view/video-on-demand sales for the division’s previous incarnation. Ramirez rejoins WBDCD from Canal Plus/Sogecable in Madrid, where he served for two years in acquisitions. Before that he had been a manager for Warner Bros. in worldwide pay TV. From Columbia Abrams joins from Columbia House, where she was senior director of partner marketing for ColumbiaHouse.com.
- Rounding out the new exec crew, inventory sales planning activities are handled by VP Pam Ritchie, director Libby Kauper and manager Sean Broedow.