Telemundo shuffles studio exec suite

Spanish-lingo b'caster reorgs exex

MIAMI — Telemundo is reorganizing its Telemundo Studios and changing senior management responsibilities as prexy Don Browne puts his stamp on the Spanish-language broadcaster two months after taking over the top job from Jim McNamara.

Marcos Santana, prexy-CEO of distrib Tepuy Intl., whose catalog includes Telemundo productions, will oversee development at Telemundo Studios for all genres. This role, which has not been assigned a title, includes developing original concepts, procuring scripts, making casting decisions and assessing international distribution.

Santana has been closely involved with Telemundo original productions for several years and has performed some of these tasks on an informal basis.

He has worked with other productions in the past but will now work exclusively with Telemundo while continuing to operate his distrib.

Patricio Wills, prexy of Telemundo-RTI, the Miami-based production joint venture with independent Colombian production company Radio Television Interamericana (RTI), will oversee network productions, including those in Mexico and Colombia, as well any third-party co-productions.

Wills will also be responsible for producing pilots, presenting final packages to network execs and managing production budgets.

He now reports directly to Browne. Previously, the Miami-based Wills reported to Ramon Escobar, exec VP of programming and production. Escobar has been named senior exec VP of network entertainment, continuing to report to Browne.

Telemundo plans to increase productions with Mexico-based Argos Comunicacion, an indie headed by Epigmenio Ibarra that already produces novelas and miniseries for the web. No new projects have been unveiled, but Wills, Santana and the Telemundo programming team will work closely with Ibarra to increase the network’s production levels.

Jorge Hidalgo, formerly exec VP of sports, has been made senior exec VP of sports and news. As part of the sports and news reorganization, Joe Peyronnin, exec VP of news and information, now reports to Hidalgo.

Antoinette Zel, hired last December as exec VP of cable networks and network strategic planning, will be senior exec VP of network strategy.

Zel continues to oversee Telemundo cable networks (mun2, Telemundo Puerto Rico and Telemundo Intl.) and will now oversee marketing, including advertising and promotions; digital media; all network research; the network’s West Coast and Mexico initiatives; and other “organic growth” initiatives.

Steve Mandala, senior VP of sales and marketing, Telemundo and NBC Universal Networks, will also oversee all Telemundo affiliates. Ann Gaulke, senior VP of affiliate relations, reports to Mandala.

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