Turner taps Rudolph for new products arm

Exec runs New Products group

NEW YORK — Turner Broadcasting has set up division New Products Development Group and named David Rudolph to run it as senior VP.

Rudolph will relinquish his post as general manager of regional entertainment network Turner South. Taking over at Turner South is Tom Karsch, who will also continue as exec VP and general manager of Turner Classic Movies. The change becomes official Jan. 3.

Turner South is one of Time Warner’s success stories, offering a wide range of programming, from Atlanta Braves baseball games to original series such as “Southern Living Presents” and “Live From the Bluebird Cafe.” The 5-year-old net reaches 10.9 million subscribers, which reps 80% of the potential customers throughout the six states it serves: Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina.

Reporting to Jim McCaffrey, exec VP of operations and strategy for TBS Inc., Rudolph will aim to create business opportunities outside Turner’s network operations, tapping into all of Turner’s entertainment, animation and news resources for fresh ideas.

Under Karsch’s leadership, TCM has piled up nearly 70 million subscribers since it opened for business in April 1994. Unlike almost all other basic-cable networks, TCM continues to run commercial-free, harvesting its revenues exclusively from monthly license fees ponied up by cable operators and satellite distributors. Karsch reports to Mark Lazarus, president of the Turner Entertainment Group.

Rudolph joined TBS Inc. in July 1996 as a strategic planning analyst. Three years later, as director of business development for TBS, he oversaw the development of Turner South, which launched in October 1999.

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