It’s all in the family at Fininvest

Berlusconi, Letta kids upped in company's film unit

ROME — In an exec reshuffle made necessary by the death last month of Medusa president Carlo Bernasconi, Marina Berlusconi has been named prexy of Fininvest’s film division and Giampaolo Letta has been upped to VP.

The appointments continue a Fininvest tradition of placing family and close associates in key positions.

Berlusconi is the daughter of Fininvest chief and recently elected Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi. Letta is the son of the media magnate-turned-politico’s right-hand man, Gianni Letta. The younger Letta had been Medusa’s director of communications.

Tops at Italo B.O.

The film unit emerged from the 2000-2001 box office season, which ended in June, as the undisputed Italian market leader with a 23% share and nationwide theatrical grosses of more than 220 billion lire ($100 million).

Overall sales for the division last season hit $1.1 billion and Medusa’s investment in film production and acquisitions this year is pegged at $115 million.

Marina Berlusconi will remain in Milan and will focus on the corporate strategy of the Fininvest holding company. Much of the day-to-day running of Medusa is expected to fall to Letta in Rome, working alongside CEO Federico di Chio.

In addition to being upped to VP, Letta also has been appointed to Medusa’s board, now headed by Marina Berlusconi. Letta’s father has stepped down after assuming a key role in the Berlusconi government.

Separately, fellow board member and Fininvest general affairs director Alessandro Grimaldi has been appointed president of exhibition division Medusa Cinema.