In a move that reflects the growing importance Hollywood majors are placing on localized production efforts abroad, Paramount Intl. Television has created two positions at the VP level.
James Dowaliby has been tapped VP of production, and will be responsible for implementing a comprehensive international production plan for the unit. He will oversee the creation of TV programming customized for the international marketplace, structuring co-production and co-financing arrangements with international partners.
Christopher Ottinger has been named VP of business development, and will be responsible for the division’s overall business planning and strategy, with an emphasis on expanding Paramount’s international distribution and production activities. He will also work closely with other Par divisions and Viacom companies to consolidate various international TV initiatives.
Both will report to Gary Marenzi, president of Paramount Intl. TV.
“James’ diverse background and vast experience will be invaluable as we pursue a major international production plan. And Chris brings a stellar track record to our division, as well as innovative thinking which will be particularly important as we expand our operations,” Marenzi said.
Dowaliby’s expertise encompasses production, finance and distribution, with extensive experience in international production, having supervised projects in Australia, Estonia and the U.K., among others. Most recently Dowaliby worked for the Yorkshire TV Group as the U.S. producer for Griffin Prods.
Ottinger joins Paramount from the MGM Telecommunications Group, where he was an executive director of business affairs. From his start there in 1994, Ottinger, a lawyer, negotiated and drafted a range of deals in the areas of worldwide pay TV and basic cable, international free TV and multilevel digital platforms, as well as negotiating agreements to launch MGM Gold Asia.