Putting a close to weeks of speculation, Juan Jose Nieto was confirmed today as the new executive president of Telefonica Media, the powerful multimedia subsidiary of Spanish telco Telefonica.
Nieto's promotion means he will take over the position left vacant with the August 10 departure of Manuel Garcia Duran in a shakeup that followed the resignation of former Telefonica chairman Juan Villalonga. Nieto will now run a division whose assets include stakes in both the private Antena 3 television network and local pay-television satellite platform Via Digital as well as a 5-percent holding in the Pearson media group
The less anticipated announcement out of Wednesday's monthly Telefonica board meeting was the appointment of former Telefonica Media (TM) president Jose Antonio Rios to the board of directors of Dutch entertainment giant Endemol, a Telefonica holding. Rios' appointment marks his withdrawal from his position both on the Telefonica board and as director of the telco's customer relations division Atento.
Rios and Nieto are both well-respected players in the Spanish media industry.
Rios' June transfer from TM to Atento came as a surprise to many. He was largely credited with the rapid internationalization of TM, having helped negotiate some of the company's most important acquisitions including the takeover from Hicks, Muse & Tate of various Argentinean media interests, the buy-out of Endemol and the fusion of the company's Spanish web portal Terra with US internet giant Lycos.
Nieto -- who is also CEO of Antena 3 Television and president of Via Digital -- was named CEO of TM in June. In his three years at the head of Antena 3 he has turned the formerly indebted broadcaster around to 1999 profits of $131m.