Veteran Exec Steve Marcopoto to Quit As Turner’s Asia Chief

Channels group signs Thailand JV, to accelerate localization strategy

HONG KONG — Steve Marcopoto, Turner International’s long time chief in the Asia-Pacific region is to stand down at the end of the year.

His departure as President and Managing Director comes after massive reductions of staff in the region and the announcement today of a new partnership in Thailand.

Marcopoto is the second senior Asian broadcasting boss to quit in as many weeks. Sony’s Ricky Ow left his job after 14 years, with effect from this week.

“Steve has guided Turner Asia Pacific through a period of rapid change. Under his exceptional leadership Turner went from broadcasting two networks in the region to 36 channels today along with a vast variety of digital and off-channel commerce activities,” Gerhard Zeiler, President Turner Broadcasting System International said in a statement.

Marcopoto will remain a senior adviser. Turner says it will announce succession plans in due course.

Having built up the Asian operations to considerable scale in most of the territories covered, Marcopoto almost inevitably had to decentralize the regional headquarter operations which were located in Hong Kong and to reduce the headcount. In June this year he announced the “tough but absolutely necessary” decision to cut 30% of the Asia-Pacific workforce. That came on top of a 10% cut announced across Turner International in October last year.

The Thai partnership with Major Kantana Broadcasting will be called M Turner. It kicks off with the launch of childrens’ channel Boomerang. The partnership is intended to help Turner expand beyond news and kids channels in South East Asia, notably into entertainment. Parent group Time Warner runs HBO separately across most of Asia-Pacific.

The general entertainment segment in India was the source of two of Turner’s biggest disappointments under Marcopoto. Having paid $117 million to NDTV for mainstream channel Imagine in 2010, Turner closed the network last year when it failed to hold on to its audiences. Earlier Turner had Real, another general entertainment JV in the country, with Midtech / Alva Brothers. That too failed to deliver and was shuttered in 2008.

(It has other successful businesses in India including channel distributors Zee Turner and Media Pro and the CNN-IBN joint venture.)

“Turner is poised for a great run and now is the best moment for the company to put a fresh set of hands in charge,” said Marcopoto in a prepared statement.

He says that several other deals an initiatives are in the pipeline and that he will try to implement as many as possible before his departure five months from now.

“We need expand our footprint in terms of markets and penetration and we need to expand our product line and do that through a combination of bringing new products to market and developing derivative products from core existing brands and categories,” he told newsletter Asia Media Journal.

More Biz

  • Bob Iger and Bob Chapek Disney

    Bob Chapek to Succeed Bob Iger as Disney CEO

    Bob Chapek, a 27-year Disney veteran who heads the company’s parks division, has been named CEO of Disney, succeeding Bob Iger. The timing of the news and the selection of Chapek came as a big surprise on Tuesday afternoon to many in the entertainment industry. Iger will continue as Disney chairman through the end of [...]

  • Miriam Haley and Tarale Wulff

    Women Who Testified in Harvey Weinstein Trial Slam His Lawyers for 'Victim Blaming' 

    Six women testified during the Harvey Weinstein rape trial, and now that the former movie mogul was found guilty of two felony charges, those women are speaking out with newfound freedom. Miriam Haley, who was assaulted by Weinstein in 2006, resulting in him being convicted of a criminal sex act (which carries a maximum sentence [...]

  • APA Logo

    APA Promotes Five Employees to Partner

    APA has upped four agents and one executive to partner across four departments. Jeff Witjas in talent, Sheryl Petersen and Mike Goldberg in scripted literary, Steve Fisher in intellectual property and Julia Johnson in business affairs & legal will all be joining the partner suite. “I’m very proud to have these five extraordinary individuals join [...]

  • Vets2Set

    Nonprofit Vets2Set Aims to Help Military Veterans Get Entry-Level Production Jobs

    Corey Manlove loves movies. You can tell it from the way he talks about his extensive Blu-ray collection for which he is unsure his apartment can hold anymore. He talks passionately about the merits of physical media like DVDs and LaserDiscs and makes lighthearted jabs about the ills of Netflix. While he’s been a production [...]

  • Lauren Sivan Katherine Kendall Caitlin Dulany

    Five Harvey Weinstein Accusers Break Down the Historic Verdict (EXCLUSIVE)

    Before being found guilty by a jury and handcuffed on his way to jail, Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual misconduct, harassment, assault or rape by at least 100 women. On Monday morning, the possibility of Weinstein being imprisoned seemed impossible, to some. How could one of Hollywood’s most powerful men end up behind bars? [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content