MacLellan to manage new-media businesses

E! Networks senior veep of international Kevin MacLellan has been appointed president of Comcast Entertainment’s international arm.

That division was created to oversee the cable giant’s foreign entertainment properties, including E! Entertainment, Style Network, Versus (formerly OLN) and G4.

MacLellan’s new role encompasses not just the overseas TV channels but also management of all new-media businesses, licensing and merchandising and homevideo and DVD distribution outside the U.S.

MacLellan told Daily Variety that his most immediate goal is to launch Style and G4 overseas this year, essentially creating a bouquet of niche channels that can be marketed jointly. He also has plans to monetize abroad key programming brands in Comcast’s portfolio via DVD, video-on-demand and merchandising deals. Exec said he would be adding to his existing international staff of 100 worldwide as upcoming initiatives take hold.

MacLellan will report to Comcast Entertainment Group prexy Ted Harbert.

“Since joining E! Networks Intl. in 2001, Kevin has revitalized and grown the international business of E! and Style, making the international group one of the most dynamic and rapidly expanding divisions within the company,” Harbert said.

One achievement during MacLellan’s E! tenure has been the launch of a fully dedicated international E! network. That service is now available in 100 countries worldwide and has added 45 million subscribers during the past four years, translating to 35% of the global viewers for the channel.

While E! itself is a well-known niche service abroad, Comcast is virtually unknown as a mega-media player outside the U.S. It remains to be seen if the cable colossus develops an interest in expanding abroad beyond the programming front. Company will for the first time unfurl the Comcast Entertainment Group banner at the Mip TV trade show in Cannes this April.

MacLellan brings 18 years of experience in domestic and international TV production, operations and management to the job. Prior to E!, he served as VP, international television networks, at Columbia TriStar Intl. Television in London, handling the company’s channel investments in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Prior to CTIT, MacLellan was director of programming for HBO’s international operations in Eastern Europe. He also worked in production at various cable nets in the U.S., including HBO, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon.

Based in Los Angeles, recently formed Comcast Entertainment Group operates E! Entertainment and E! Online, the women-focused Style Network and the male-focused G4, which features technology, animation and Internet-related programming.

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