Local Efforts on Rainbow’s Horizon

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As he firms up its centralized structure, Rainbow Network Sales president Gregg Hill is sketching out plans for local ad sales programs and development of on-demand product that will benefit affiliates later this year.

Rounding out a new distribution team — part of a reorganization announced in December — Hill created a pair of new positions, elevating Todd Green to senior vice president of affiliate marketing and Judi Lopez to senior vice president of the group’s Eastern region last week.

The posts are part of the restructuring that places all of the affiliate sales and marketing for AMC, the Independent Film Channel and WE: Women’s Entertainment, as well as on-demand services Mag Rack and Sportskool, under one department.

As part of the efforts to integrate marketing and ad sales, Hill said affiliates can expect pushes behind a couple of WE series: the original reality show Bridezilla and the acquired Australian ranching drama McLeod’s Daughters.

Hill said affiliates could also see the initial wave of VOD fare from WE and AMC sometime this year.

“It’s clear that they’re interested in VOD. What kind of product is something that many people are still trying to figure out. We’re in development with operators,” said Hill.

Other affiliate programs on the horizon: a digital-acquisition campaign for IFC this spring and AMC’s ninth iteration of its “Monsterfest” this fall.

Hill said the decision to position RNS into a regional structure, flanked with corporate overlay responsibilities within a territory, is reflective of how many distributors are organized these days.

For instance, Lopez — who has been with Rainbow Media Holdings Inc. for the past five years, most recently as vice president of the Eastern and Western regions — is now charged with leading affiliate efforts throughout the East. As such, she is working not only at the corporate level with Time Warner Cable, Bresnan Communications, Insight Communications Co. and Mediacom Communications Corp., but is charged with servicing the systems in the territory as well.

For his part, Green, who had been vice president of national accounts and affiliate marketing since 2002, will oversee the strategic direction and implementation of affiliate-marketing and local-ad-sales activities.

The appointments round out Hill’s new senior affiliate team, which includes Ed Palluth, senior vice president, southern region; Lisa Schwartz, senior vice president, national accounts and advanced services; and Kevin Granger, vice president, strategic planning and operations.

They also follow the recent consummation of Rainbow’s carriage-deal extensions with DirecTV Inc., EchoStar Communications Corp.’s Dish Network, Comcast Corp., Adelphia Communications Corp. and Mediacom.

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