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Paramount Names New President of Domestic Television Programming

May 04, 2001

* Greg Meidel has been named president of programming for Paramount Domestic Television, reporting to Joel Berman, the head of the group. Meidel, who will develop new shows for syndication and oversee existing programs, such as "Entertainment Tonight," has a long history in syndication.

Meidel was chief executive of Studios USA and Universal Television Group, where he oversaw such programs as "Law & Order" and "Xena." Before that, he was president of Twentieth Television, which created "A Current Affair" and "Cops." When industry consolidation reduced the number of top jobs in traditional media, Meidel jumped to new media, heading up Massive Media Group, a now-defunct digital rights management company. (Sallie Hofmeister)

* Ilana Porat Koch has been named senior vice president and general manager of Universal CityWalk. She will be responsible for all aspects of the entertainment and retail complex, including operations, leasing, marketing, sales and finance. Koch joined CityWalk in 1997 from Price Waterhouse, where she was a strategic consultant.

* Wherehouse Music has promoted Larry Gaines to president and chief operating officer of the Torrance-based music and home entertainment retailer. Gaines previously was executive vice president and COO for the 497-store chain. He replaces Hugh Hilton, who will step down from his post to return to duties with Alvarez & Marsal, a New York-based corporate turnaround firm. He will be the managing director of Alvarez & Marsal's Southern California office.

Wherehouse Music also announced that Mark Velarde, executive vice president and chief financial officer, will assume additional responsibilities as chief administrative officer.

* California Bank & Trust has appointed Takashi Usui vice president and branch manager of the Los Angeles office and Cynthia Lee vice president and branch manager of the Monterey Park office. Usui previously managed the Torrance office of Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank of California.

* Ritamarie Peruggi has been promoted to executive vice president of production worldwide for Jim Henson Co. in Hollywood. Peruggi has been with the company for the last 20 years, most recently serving as executive in charge of production for the sci-fi series "Farscape."

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