Brugola ankles as RAI topper

Exec joins TMC as Seat preps to launch new channel

MILAN — Mario Brugola, the powerful head of RAI Division One which includes the network flagship channel RAI1 and RAI2, is to quit Italy’s pubcaster to head TeleMontecarlo’s advertising arm.

Brugola was close to former director general Pierluigi Celli, who left earlier this month after a row over a political satire show accused of bias by media magnate Silvio Berlusconi’s center-right coalition party.

Berlusconi, who heads commercial TV group Mediaset, is expected to be elected Prime Minister in the country’s general election, May 13.

Brugola quit his post as advertising supremo and head of domestic TV at Berlusconi’s Mediaset in 1999 after a battle with CEO Maurizio Carlotti. A few months later, Carlotti was also forced to resign and set up his own production company.

TMC is controlled by Telecom Italia unit Seat Pagine Gialle, which bought 75% of the small, debt-burdened TV group from Vittorio Cecchi Gori in 2000. Despite a complex judicial dispute between Cecchi Gori and Seat, the control of TMC is still open.

Seat has hired top exex from Mediaset and RAI and plans to relaunch the first TMC channel in September, probably with a new name, Sette (Seven).

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