Disney taps foreign TV exec Brehm

Spent 15 years in int'l sales at Par

Jim Brehm, a longtime international TV exec at Paramount, has jumped to the Mouse House, where he will be a senior VP of sales for its foreign TV arm.

The appointment was unveiled Thursday by Tom Toumazis, exec VP and managing director for Buena Vista Intl. Television Europe, Middle East & Africa. Brehm will report to Toumazis when he joins the company in London in late August.

BVITV’s territory sales heads, based in London, Paris, Munich, Rome and Madrid, will report to Brehm.

BVITV sales team manages the pay, free, pay-per-view and video-on-demand distribution of feature films and TV shows, including movies like “Pirates of the Caribbean” and series like “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives.”

“With Jim’s extensive experience at the top level of the international TV distribution industry, he will be a huge asset for both our business and our client’s businesses,” Toumazis said.

Prior to joining BVITV, Brehm was exec VP, international television, Paramount Pictures Worldwide TV Distribution, where he was responsible for the licensing of the company’s feature film library to international free TV, basic cable and pay TV broadcasters, plus PPV and VOD providers.

His shift comes in the wake of Par’s acquisition of DreamWorks and the appointment of DreamWorks exec Hal Richardson as the top TV distribution exec overseeing both DreamWorks and Par sales. (Brehm was the top remaining Par international distribution exec after the Viacom split in January.)

Brehm said his decision to leave came simply in the wake of three successive strategic and management changes at Paramount Intl. TV and a desire to try something new.

“It’s not at all a reflection on DreamWorks or on Hal (Richardson),” Brehm told Daily Variety. “My contract is up in August, and this seemed like a good time to make a move.”

Meanwhile, the other 30-odd execs in international distribution at Paramount are being melded with the 17 execs from DreamWorks Richardson brought with him when he took the job at Paramount in February. That team is expected to expand to around 80 by the fall. Key lieutenants in that unit have been identified (though not announced), but other assignments are still being worked out.

Brehm brings to Disney more than 20 years’ experience in the entertainment industry, with 15 years on the Par lot in international sales roles. He started his career at Price Waterhouse’s entertainment practice.

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