Telefnica Medias New Boss Prepares for IPO


Madrid, Spain-One of the first tasks of Telefónica Media S.A.'s new chairman will be to prepare the company for an initial public offering, slated for September.

Manuel García-Durán recently replaced JoséAntonio Rios in the top post at the Miami-based media group, which is owned by Spanish telecommunications giant Telefónica S.A.

Rios has shifted gears and is now chairman of Atento Holding, Telefónica's customer-call-center unit.

García-Durán's promotion comes only one month after being named vice chairman of Spanish broadcast network Antena 3 TV, which has considerable international distribution on satellite and cable TV.

For the time being, he will continue to oversee Antena 3, as well as Telefónica's corporate-communications and public-relations department. The promotion effectively makes him the new right-hand man of Juan Villalonga, chairman of the parent company based here.

Press-shy Telefónica was mum about its IPO plans. However, it is believed that one of García-Durán's tasks will be to prepare the ground by adding to the company's existing assets, which cover television, cinema, radio and publishing, and by consolidating its alliances with existing partners.

On the table is the completion of a deal to buy a 25 percent stake in programming provider Media Park, which supplies content to Telefónica's part-owned direct-to-home platform, Vía Digital.