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Disney restructures its Latin operations

Managing directors will o'see regional divisions

MIAMI — Disney has restructured its Latin American operations, carving out sub-regions whose managing directors are responsible for all business areas.

Four MDs will oversee theatrical, home entertainment, licensing, publishing, records and the new interactive division in their respective territories.

Diego Lerner, Walt Disney Intl. Latam prexy and MD, continues to oversee all of Latin America as well as Argentina-Uruguay-Paraguay from Buenos Aires.

Enrico Rastelli has been upped from general manager of Buena Vista Home Entertainment to MD of Brazil. He joined Disney in January from the video division of Brazilian media group Abril.

Mauricio Sanudo, longtime head of Buena Vista Home Entertainment in Mexico, is now MD of Mexico, a region including Central America and the Caribbean.

Santiago-based Javier Irarrazaval is MD for the Andean region, which covers Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela. He had been running the consumer products operations for a large part of Latin America. Disney also announced eight new regional positions, most in Buenos Aires, including Elizabeth Bohannon, veep global licensing, and Claudio Chiaromonte, veep business planning.

Simon Kenny has been upped to exec VP, broadcasting. He still manages production, distribution, broadcast and marketing of Disney TV products, and now will handle the long-delayed launch of the Disney Channel in Latin America, skedded for 2000, out of Miami.

Latam model

Columbia TriStar Intl. Television has implemented a similar Latam model with three territories.

It tapped former Fox pay TV exec Alexander Marin as its general manager for Mexico, responsible too for Central America and the northern Andean countries. Most recently, Marin was at Visat, the pay TV programming arm of Mexico’s Grupo Televisa.

Armando Cortes in Buenos Aires will manage the southern cone and Dorien Sutherland will have the dual role as head of the Brazil operations and as regional managing director, with offices in Sao Paulo and Miami.

Each will oversee production, channels, licensing and ad sales, and develop new business for CTSI and the Sony family, Sutherland said.

“This guarantees that we have more presence and can react more quickly in all four areas — and next year, interactive,” Sutherland told Daily Variety. “This (structure) takes us out of the mere supply role.”