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European Media & Comm moves through April 6: Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Discovery, BBC


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European Media & Comm moves through April 6: Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Discovery, BBC

SNL Kagan presents abi-weekly rundown of executive and board changes in the European media andcommunications industries.

Top moves

*Telecom Italia SpA said in a March 30 news release that its board Flavio Cattaneo CEO.In his new role, Cattaneo will be responsible for the overall management of thecompany and the group, and implementing and developing the strategic,industrial and financial plans and all the organizational responsibilities toensure management and development of business in Italy and South America.Cattaneo replaces Marco Patuano, who resigned following a spat with the telco'slargest shareholder, VivendiSA. Cattaneo most recently served as CEO of Nuovo TrasportoViaggiatori SpA.

*Telefónica SAExecutive Chairman César Alierta is stepping down after holding the position since 2000, thecompany announced March 29. He will remain on Telefónica's board and keep hispost as executive chairman of the telco's charitable arm Fundación Telefónica.Alierta proposed the appointment of COO José María Álvarez-Pallete as newexecutive chairman at the board's April 8 meeting.

Media industry moves

*VICE Media Inc.tapped formerDiscovery CommunicationsInc. executive Arjan Hoekstra to oversee the expansion of theViceland (US)network across the European market, TBIVision reported April 5, citing a statement. Hoekstra, who will assume therole of general manager of Europe at VICE, previously oversaw Discovery Asiabefore leaving the company in March 2015. Viceland debuted in North America inFebruary, and is set to launch in the U.K. and Ireland in September.

*British BroadcastingCorp. Natural History Unit chief Wendy Darke is the company, Broadcast reported April 4, citing aninternal email from BBC Director of Television Mark Linsey. Darke worked at theNHU for 25 years, overseeing shows like "Frozen Planet," "Africa,""Life Story" and "Planet Earth Live." Executive producerJulian Hector will reportedly fill in for Darke until a replacement isappointed. Meanwhile, Polly Hill could also quit her post as BBC dramacontroller and jump ship to ITVPlc to replace Steve November, who recently resigned as ITV'sdirector of drama, according to a separate April 4 Broadcast report.

*VICE Media appointedLaura Himmelreich as new editor-in-chief of its German edition, Meedia reported April 4. The reporterpreviously received the Hansel-Mieth award and the Deutschen Reporterpreis 2013for her journalistic work. She will be managing the area politics and societyat VICE and help grow the site's editorial team to 12 full-time members in 2016.

*The CEO of Discovery Communications Inc.'s Discovery Networks International, JBPerette, is takingcharge of the channels in Northern Europe on an interim basis, followingthe departure of Discovery Networks Northern Europe Managing Director DeeForbes, Mediawatch reported April 4. COO Dominic Coles in Discovery NetworksDenmark will handle the daily running of the operation in the Nordic countries,according to the report.

*Ireland's RTÉ hiredDee Forbes as its new director-general, the broadcaster announced in an April 1statement. Forbes will quit her post as president and managing director ofDiscovery Communications Inc.'s Discovery Networks Northern Europe, and willtake on her post at RTÉ later in 2016, following a transition period.

*David Kosse will resign as head Channel 4 (UK)'s Film4 after 18 months on the job, Broadcast reported April 1. Kosse willmove to U.S. studio STX Entertainment, where he will become the president ofits new division STX International effective June 1, according to the report.Kosse will be working out of STX's London hub.

*ITV Plc drama chief Steve November quit his post, TheGuardian (London) reported April 1. November held the position since 2013,and has been with ITV for 16 years. The news comes after ITV announced thatentertainment chief Elaine Bedell and factual chief Richard Klein will also beexiting the company. ITV is currently undergoing structural changes, with KevinLygo appointed the new director of television in January.

*Discovery Networks named Vera Buzanello general manager and executive vicepresident of Discovery Networks Iberia, Digital TV Europe reported April 1.Buzanello will oversee the distribution of Discovery's local channels in Spainand Portugal. She will replace former country manager Fernando Jerez.

*Sophie Gourmelen was named general manager and director of publication of Le Parisien and Aujourd'hui en France both for print and web, Les Echos reported March 29. She previously served as deputydirector of digital marketing for Groupe Les Echos. Francis Morel, chairman ofGroupe Les Echos and Groupe Le Parisien, said that Gourmelen will reverse thedownward curve of newspaper sales and better monetize the 12 million uniquevisitors to the website. Morel added that Le Parisien is currently operating ata loss and the goal is to break even by 2017 or 2018.

Communications industry moves

*Finnish tech company Nokia Corp.launched a globalredundancy program, as it aims to reach €900 million of operating costsynergies related to the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent by 2018, the company said April 6.According to a same day Bloomberg report, as much as 14% of Nokia's workforce,or up to 15,000 positions, may be eliminated. The company said in an April 6press release that it will cut about 1,300 jobs in Finland.

*Danish telecom group TDCA/S hiredCarsten Elmose as new director of marketing and communication for its TVsubsidiary YouSeeA/S, Børsen reported April5. Elmose was previously marketing director at Danish pension company Danica.

*Former network headStefano Paggi joinedEnel SpA's fiber-optic venture Enel Open Fiber, Telecompaper reported April 5.Paggi left Telecom Italia at the end of March after serving as head of theoperator's open access networking unit. Enel Open Fiber earlier named formerWind TelecomunicazioniSpA head Tommaso Pompei as its CEO, according to the report.

*Vodafone Group Plcsaid March 30 that Group Business Development Director Warren Finegold isretiring from thegroup executive committee on June 30. Finegold will act as an adviser to theBritish telco's board and executive committee in relation to future strategicprojects, effective July 2016.