Germany’s second most successful commercial network this past week confirmed that FRED KOGEL, former entertainment director at pubcaster ZDF, will take up a new executive programming post at Sat 1 effective May 1. His responsibilities will include program planning, acquisition and production. Kogel’s appointment spells the end of Sat 1’s ruling trio of programming executives: Knut Foeckler (general entertainment), Heinz Klaus Mertes (information) and Reinhold Beckmann (sports). Sources say the departure of Foeckler, a former top manager from Philip Morris’ German subsidiary, is assured. Foeckler is reportedly currently negotiating a settlement, but the network isn’t discussing that publicly. Suggestions that Mertes, too, is on his way out were sharply denied by the web this past week, but insiders consider his departure a matter of time.
As part of its ongoing commitment to strengthen its marketing operations, Columbia TriStar Film Distributors Intl. has restructured the division, making several key executive and staff appointments. Media relations veep SUSAN VAN DER WERFF has been upped to VP of publicity and promotions, and will now head the international publicity group based at the Sony lot in Culver City. She will continue to be responsible for orchestrating publicity campaigns for the studio’s releases and will supervise the department’s staffers while working closely with the overseas publicity staffs. Director of creative advertising SAL LADESTRO has been upped to veep, where he will supervise the creation of all print and audiovisual advertising campaigns for the international operation. The studio has also upped BERNARD POLLARD to budget manager in the international marketing arena.
Sweden’s national commercial market leader TV4 has appointed CHRISTER FORSSTROM as new managing director of the station, to replace Bjorn Nordstrand, who ankled recently to pursue private interests. Forsstrom has spent more than 25 years in top managerial positions with the Electrolux Group, including a stretch as media buyer for the group. TV4, in just four years of existence, has swiped more than 30% of the viewing audience from Sweden’s public broadcaster SVT. Also at TV4, program director Lars Weiss has stepped up to the position of deputy managing director, but remains in charge of programming at the station.