NBC Universal International has unveiled its integrated overseas TV structure following Kevin MacLellan’s appointment as president in March. The shake-up shows cable TV giant Comcast asserting its grip internationally under NBCUniversal International chairman Jeff Shell. Rhoma Khanna, who MGM appointed in June as President of TV Group and Digital, left NBCUI following MacLellan’s appointment in the aftermath of the NBCU-Comcast merger. Here is NBCU’s release:

London – 28 September 2011 – NBCUniversal International today outlined its integrated International Television leadership structure following the company’s March announcement, which combined its television assets – International TV Distribution (TVD), Universal Networks International (UNI), International TV Production (TVP) and Comcast International Media Group (CIMG) – into one cohesive division run by Kevin MacLellan, President, International Television.

MacLellan has led the integration process with the goal of enhancing collaboration and driving further business growth through the combination of NBCUniversal’s international television divisions.

MacLellan commented: “We have reached a milestone in determining the leadership organisation that positions us for future growth. Combining our television strands encompassing production, networks and distribution into one cohesive, highly performing unit has been a complex but rewarding process. The new structure provides us with a unique opportunity to be more competitive, flexible, customer focused and positioned for growth.”

NBCUniversal International Television Leadership

Kevin MacLellan is supported by two previously announced key leadership reports, namely Belinda Menendez, President, International Television Distribution & Universal Networks International – who has a dual report to both MacLellan and Rick Finkelstein, Vice Chairman — COO, Universal Pictures & EVP, Universal Studios – and Michael Edelstein, President, International Television Production. Both Menendez and Edelstein will be based in London.

Additional direct reports into MacLellan will include:

• Simone Nardi – CFO, based in London, will oversee financial control for International TV Production and Universal Networks International.
• Lee Raftery – EVP, Marketing, will manage all aspects of International Television marketing. Raftery will relocate from LA to London.
• Steve Patscheck – will serve as EVP, International Programming for Universal Networks International, based in LA.
• Paul Newman – SVP, International Technical Operations, based in London, will report to Ian Trombley, EVP, Technical Operations for NBCUniversal MediaWorks, with a dotted line to MacLellan.
• Rory Litherland – VP, Human Resources, based in London, will be responsible for all HR support to the International Television groups.

International Television Distribution & Universal Networks International – combined Leadership

Under the combined International Television Distribution & Universal Networks International structure led by Menendez, the teams have been aligned to deliver enhanced client service and responsiveness in local marketplaces.

Menendez’s leadership team includes:

• Don McGregor – EVP, International Television Distribution, based in the UK.
• Duccio Donati – EVP, Universal Networks International, relocating from LA to London.
• Jay McNamara – EVP, Business Development & Sales Strategy, International Television, based in LA.
• Bill Vrbanic – EVP, Global Television Distribution, based in LA.
• Andrea Melville – EVP, Business & Legal Affairs, Television Distribution and Universal Networks International, based in LA.
• Brandon Franklin – CFO, Finance, Global Television Distribution, based in LA.
• Ken Bettsteller – will be joining the company as MD Latin America, Universal Networks International, based in Miami. His previous senior leadership roles included COO of E! Entertainment Television. Prior to that he was at News Corp for 13 years, most latterly as President, Satellite Distribution, overseeing their international general entertainment channels including Canal Fox, and News Corp´s ownership interests in DTH satellite ventures in Latin America and Japan.

In four strategic markets, newly created Integrated Territory Leaders have been named. These Territory Leaders will report into Menendez, retaining their TV Distribution responsibilities and adding oversight of Universal Networks International in order to deliver a single touch-point for clients and drive collaborative business growth.

Integrated Territory Leaders will include:

• Maxim Mikhailov – MD, International Television, Russia, overseeing the Russian TV business with Merab Gabuniya, MD of UNI Russia, reporting to him.
• Carolyn Stalins – MD, International Television, France, will oversee the French TV business with Leonor Grandsire, President of UNI France, reporting to her.
• Maria Sanchez-Munoz – MD, International Television, Spain & Portugal, will oversee the Spanish TV business with David Nunez, MD of UNI Spain & Portugal, reporting to her.
• Marwen Helayel – MD, International Television, Middle East, Greece & Turkey, will add UNI affiliate and ad sales responsibilities to his existing role.

International Television Distribution

Don McGregor is appointed to the newly created role of EVP, International Television Distribution, overseeing a new organisational structure that encompasses responsibility for UK & Ireland, Benelux, Netherlands, Scandinavia, Africa, Central & Eastern Europe and Asia Pacific. He will also work closely with Integrated Territory Leaders in the four strategic markets.

Additionally, Rob Bell is appointed to the newly created role of SVP New Media, reporting to Don McGregor, tasked to deliver deep digital expertise, experience and insights for the International Television Distribution group.

Universal Networks International

Duccio Donati is appointed to the newly created role of EVP, Universal Networks International. Also working closely with the Integrated Territory Leaders, he will directly oversee Universal Networks International MDs who have added responsibilities to enhance scale and operational efficiencies, as follows:

• Luca Cadura – MD Italy, based in Rome, will take on the added responsibility of E!
• Christine Fellowes – MD Asia Pacific, based in Singapore, will add Universal Channel, Syfy, 13th Street, and Diva Universal to her remit.
• Colin McLeod – MD Benelux, CEE & Africa, based in London, will add E!, Style and Golf channel responsibilities in these regions.
• Laurence Dawkin-Jones – MD UK & Ireland, based in London, will add oversight of E! and Style.
• Katherina Behrends – MD Germany, based in Munich, will add oversight of E!

Universal Networks International executives Laurent Dumeau, Martin Irusta and Roland Tischner have chosen to pursue other opportunities outside the company.

International Television Production

Michael Edelstein, as President, International Television Production, continues to head up a portfolio of production labels including Carnival, Monkey, Chocolate and Lucky Giant in the UK and Matchbox in Australia. Additionally, Brad Wald joins the division from Comcast International Media Group to a new role as Chief Commercial Officer, where he will focus on all commercial aspects of International Television Production, including an overview of strategic growth partnership opportunities.

Also, Cheryl McDermott is appointed Managing Director, Universal Studios International, BV, reporting to Bill Vrbanic. She will be relocating from Comcast in LA to oversee BV operations based in Amsterdam.

Jeff Shell, President, NBCUniversal International concluded: “When we announced the formation of the International Television group in March, our primary goal was to create a strategic and collaborative international business, structured to drive scale in markets. Kevin has delivered on this vision with a tremendous team of executive talent organised to optimize our assets and generate significant future growth.”