James Marrinan, a longtime executive in the international television business who worked at Viacom, ITC and Warner Bros. before becoming an important industry consultant, died on March 23 in the wake of a heart attack he suffered while at Los Angeles Intl. Airport. He was 60.
Marrinan spent 12 years at Viacom, overseeing the company’s sales operations in Europe and Latin America, before departing for a job as international TV distribution topper, then chief of the international theatrical and homevideo divisions, for ITC Entertainment. He was not interested in moving to London, to which the company relocated its headquarters after its 1995 acquisition by Polygram, and Marrinan subsequently joined Warner Bros. Intl. Television as senior VP, overseeing staffers in 10 cities around the world. Warner would soon merge with Turner Entertainment, but in the two-year interim, Marrinan oversaw annual program sales of more than $1 billion to international broadcasters; series distributed overseas included “ER,” “Friends,” “The Cosby Show,” “I Love Lucy,” “Thunderbirds” and “The Prisoner.” When the merger came, he oversaw the integration of Turner program assets into the Warner collection.
Marrinan and David Wollos founded Entertainment Media Consultants in 1999. EMC provides market analysis and consultancy services to the international film and TV sectors.
Marrinan was born in New York. Survivors include his wife Karen and a son.