People on the move

Canal Plus appoints a new president and CEO; Chris Haws ends his World Bank stint; MTV ups its VP of news and docs
October 3, 2002

The Paris-based Canal Plus Group has appointed Bertrand Meheut as its president and chief operating officer. In his new position, Meheut will be working with the chairman and CEO, Xavier Couture.

Chris Haws is leaving his post as creative industries consultant for the World Bank on October 4, after almost one year. Haws, who was previously a senior VP and executive producer at Discovery Networks International, has not yet announced his next move.

Discovery Networks Europe announced the appointment of John Begert as VP of content and marketing for the EMEA (Europe, Africa and Middle Eastern) region on September 30. Begert was formerly the VP of creative for Miami Beach,U.S.-based Walt Disney Television International.

In other Discovery news, former president of Discovery Networks U.S. Johnathan Rodgers has joined the board of directors of the Discovery Channel Global Education Fund, an independent charity organization. Rodgers headed up Discovery U.S. from 1996 until March 2002.

Lauren Lazin has been promoted to senior VP from VP of MTV news and docs. Lazin, who is based in New York, U.S., will continue to oversee such programming as documentary series True Life and the artist-narrated Diary.

Drama controller Nick Elliott has been enlisted to fill in as programming chief at U.K. commmercial network ITV when David Liddiment leaves in December, a promotion that could become permanent. ITV has been scramblingto formulate a plan B after Dawn Airey, the former chief executive of Five (formerly Channel 5) who was expected to take the top job at ITV, chose to join BSkyB. Prior to Airey’s surprise decision, Elliott had been considered only a temporary replacement.

Tony Stern has been promoted to head of coproductions, a newly created position, at FremantleMedia Enterprises. Stern will retain the responsibilities he currently holds as FME’s commercial director.

Gunilla Molund has left Stockholm-based Jarowskij Sverige, Scandinavia’s largest independent prodco, to join the Gurin Company as managing director.

Jim Keegan, chief administrative officer of Los Angeles, U.S.-based Lions Gate Entertainment has had chief financial officer added to his title, the company announced on October 2. Marni Wieshofer, the current CFO, will move to the new position of executive VP, corporate development.

The Film Society of New York’s Lincoln Center for Performing Arts announced the retirement of Joanne Koch from the position of chief operating and financial officer. Koch will step down as of June 2003. Replacing her as executive director of the society will be Claudia Bonn, who has been a fundraiser for the society. Marian Masone, the current associate director of programming, will take on new responsibilities as administrator of the New York Film Festival and New Directors/New Films.

The Directors Guild of America elected several new members to its board on September 28, including director Michael Apted (the 7Up doc series) as the fifth vice-president, to replace John Frankenheimer, who died earlier this year. Also elected were directors Donald Petrie (Miss Congeniality) and Michael Mann (The Last of the Mohicans, The Insider), who will serve as an alternate member.

About The Author
Jonathan Paul is a Toronto-based writer into creativity, content, advertising, tech, comics, video games, film, TV, time and space travel.