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Web vets go global

Scotti, Malatesta set up finance, distrib firm

Industry vets Anthony Scotti and Catherine Malatesta are launching an international TV company.

The two have partnered to form Global Media Television, which will be configured as a division of Scotti’s consultancy company, Global Media Management. The entity will finance and distribute programming produced in Europe and other locations outside the U.S.

The company will be officially unveiled at the Mipcom TV trade show in early October in Cannes.

GMT will earmark $100 million for the production of its first four projects, which will be produced through its European headquarters in London. J.P. Morgan Chase Manhattan is the main credit-lending bank behind the initiative.

Lawless projects

The first projects have been brought to GMT by Malatesta’s Lawless Prods., the company she set up when she exited Warner Bros. Intl. TV last year.

One is a series based on Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct novels, the other a miniseries based on the exploits of the gladiator Spartacus.

Through a deal arranged by Malatesta with WBIT, Lawless Prods. acquired the development rights to 70 TV projects (including the two named above) when she departed the major studio.

“It has been my experience, throughout my career in international television, that being selective in choosing the right projects and co-production partners is the key to success,” Malatesta said. “Tony and I share the same philosophy — pick the right partners to produce programming that will have global appeal.”

Work with others

While the venture will place emphasis on Euro opportunities, GMT will also work closely with both cablers and terrestrial nets as well as the creative community based in the U.S. The principals said they are already in multiple discussions with potential broadcast and production partners.

Scotti was previously chairman and CEO of All American Communications, a publicly traded company that produced the global hit “Baywatch” and was sold to Pearson TV in 1997 for $550 million.

Malatesta most recently served as VP of WBIT’s production unit, a division she created when she first joined the Hollywood studio in 1994 and where she still serves as an adviser. Before that, she set up the international distribution and production operation of Westinghouse Broadcasting.

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