Cecchi Gori bows TV co.

He sets up umbrella outfit to aid in re-launch of networks.

MILAN — To relaunch his two networks TMC and TMC2, Italy’s top film producer and distributor Vittorio Cecchi Gori is setting up an umbrella holding company.

Cecchi Gori Group Media Holding will be run by Biagio Agnes, the former director general of RAI and president of telecom giant Stet, who joined forces with Cecchi Gori in September.

Cecchi Gori and Agnes hope to bring the TV activities of the group out of financial dire straits in 1998. In 1996 the TV sector registered a net loss of 60 billion lire ($35 million) and it is expected to sustain heavy losses this year as well.

TMC and TMC2 have only a small share of Italy’s market (about 3%) and only cover 70% of the national territory. New frequencies should be obtained in 1998, when Italy’s TV reform bill is implemented.

According to financial sources, 1998 should be a better year for all of Cecchi Gori’s activities, including his film distribution and production company Fimavi and soccer club Fiorentin.

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