COLOGNE, Germany — Columbia TriStar has announced it wants out of German music cable channel Viva.
The Sony subsidiary has a 23.7% share in the broadcaster and is reportedly asking $25 million for the chunk. The other shareholders, which include Time Warner, EMI and Universal, have yet to indicate whether they’ll take the shares. The channel is valued at $200 million.
Meanwhile, in a move signaling Viva’s expansion eastward, the broadcaster has named Michael Westhoven as director of European TV operations.
The 33-year-old Westhoven, a former manager at the Boston Consulting Group, will be heading the broadcaster’s move into neighboring countries, as well as onto the Internet and radio. Viva last week announced its official launch on Polish TV.
In other news, Elmar Giglinger, program director at Viva’s adult-oriented sister channel, Viva Zwei, is defecting to the more youth-oriented competition, MTV, where he will head programming starting in January.
Giglinger was named program director at Viva Zwei late last year. He has been at the music broadcaster since 1994.