Rose may yet bloom at PMP

Company offers him programming-marketing slot

SYDNEY — When Jack Matthews was named CEO on Monday of the Premium Movie Partnership, film channels owned jointly by Paramount, Vivendi Universal, Sony, 20th Century Fox and Liberty Media, it seemed the other contender for the job, Peter Rose, was out of luck.

Not so: Rose has been offered the post of exec VP of programming and marketing.

PMP partners see Rose’s experience in pay TV (he worked for the now-defunct Australis in the 1990s) and in marketing (at United Intl. Pictures in London) as highly complementary to Matthews’ expertise in operations and in dealing with cable and satellite affils.

Matthews, a U.S. cable vet who ran New Zealand telco-feevee service Telstra Saturn from 1995 until late last year, is succeeding Bob Donoghue, who is retiring at the end of June (Daily Variety, May 7).

Chief backer

Matthews is said to be highly supportive of Rose, whom he met in Sydney this week.

With Rose taking charge of programming and marketing, Matthews can focus on the tricky issue of dealing with leading cabler Foxtel, which wants to renegotiate its licensing deals with PMP’s channels, and on its relationship with struggling regional operator Austar.

Also, the Matthews-Rose combo is seen as a clever compromise, as PMP shareholders were divided over who should get the CEO job.