Sony Pix TV Euro ops ups McMahon

Sr. exec VP has expanded the company's core biz

John McMahon has been promoted to senior exec VP-managing director for Sony Pictures TV Intl.’s European operations. He will continue to report to the division’s prexy Michael Grindon in L.A.

Since taking charge of SPTI’s Euro activities in 1998, McMahon has expanded the company’s core lines of business — distribution, local production and channels — across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

He has built SPTI’s licensing operation to achieve record-breaking sales levels each year, including deals for “The Shield” and “Dawson’s Creek” to broadcasters across Europe.

McMahon has also steered the growth of SPTI’s local production business across the Continent. The division is now producing 500 hours of local shows for the Euro marketplace, including Britain’s “As If” and “Rockface.”

Since his relocation to London and promotion to exec VP in 1998, and his assumption of the managing director Europe post in 1999, McMahon has overseen the expansion of channel investment throughout Europe, including the AXN brand in Spain, Israel and, more recently, Portugal.

McMahon has also overseen the launch of Sony Entertainment Television Asia and CineNova, the premium pay service in Holland and Belgium. He is credited with expanding the HBO platform in Eastern Europe to include program services in Poland, Romania and Bulgaria.

McMahon told Daily Variety he will devote more of his time to “potential synergies between creative content and devices that Sony Electronics and Sony PlayStation come up with and to building new businesses for the company.”

“John has provided the dynamic leadership required to keep each of our business lines focused on its individual objectives while delivering all to the same winning destination. His talent and effectiveness as a manager have succeeded in making our European operations run seamlessly,” SPTI prexy Michael Grindon said.

Along with Disney Intl. TV prexy David Hulbert (who is also London-based), McMahon sits on the creditors committee, deliberating the asset disposals of the bankrupt Kirch Group in Germany.

A 12-year veteran of SPTI, McMahon joined SPE in 1990, serving as VP, international legal affairs, before being named senior VP of sales planning for the company’s international TV division. In this position, McMahon oversaw the division’s free TV and basic cable licensing activities worldwide.