New York -- The staff here that built up USA Networks
Inc.'s international operations is packing its bags.
Universal Studios Networks, which took control of the
overseas unit a few months ago, announced last week that it will move all New York
executives involved in its Latin American operation to its Miami offices as of September.
A handful of other key executives with broader international responsibilities are leaving
the New York offices, as well; most of them are departing the company.
As part of the realignment, Mauricio Gerson's position
changed from vice president and general manager of USA Latin America and USA Brazil to the
same title at Universal Studios Networks, Latin America -- reflecting his broadened
responsibilities, which now include the development of new channels in the region, as well
as advertising sales. Gerson is one of three USA staffers here who are making the move to
Miami. The others are Cesar Sabroso, director of marketing and promotions, and Erik Fidel,
manager of research.
What's more, Damaris Valero, a Universal executive
based in Coral Gables, Fla., who has been involved in business development and sales, is
relocating to the Miami digs, as well, with expanded duties that now encompass USA's
Latin-targeted affiliate sales.
The New York offices have already witnessed some
departures. David Armstrong, who had been vice president of acquisitions at the USA
international unit, is now senior vice president of international television distribution
for MGM Worldwide Television. Mark Bienstock, who had been vice president of legal
affairs, has moved to the domestic USA Network. And Robert Carter, director of business
development, is leaving to join a start-up company.
The executive departures are part of Universal's move
to meld its own unit that oversees international networks with that of USA. As part of
that process, Rafael Pastor, who had headed USA's international unit while based
here, departed the company in March. Another executive involved in USA's
international operations, Bill Lee -- currently vice president, Asia for the Universal
Television and Network Group, based in Los Angeles -- is expected to leave when his
contract expires in June.