ROME — Italian entertainment industry exec Francesco Nespega has been appointed by Fox Kids Europe to act as a consultant in preparing for the launch of an offshoot of the children’s channel in Italy.
Nespega confirmed to Daily Variety that the company is aiming to be operational in Italy by the end of the year. If plans go ahead, Fox Kids will follow family-market competitor the Disney Channel, which has set its Italian launch for the fall.
Formerly with the Cecchi Gori Group, Nespega was chief operating officer and managing director of television from 1995-97. Prior to that, he headed the Los Angeles office of Mediaset, handling theatrical acquisitions, and previously was chief financial officer of PentAmerica, the ill-fated joint U.S. production venture between Cecchi Gori and Silvio Berlusconi’s Fininvest group.
Reporting to Fox Kids Europe managing director Ynon Kreiz, Nespega will be responsible for the development of a budget and general operational plan and for negotiating with other businesses and potential advertisers.
Fox Kids’ European operations currently include programming blocks aired in the U.K., the Netherlands and France, with Scandinavia and Poland to be added this spring.