RAI Cinema, the film unit of Italy's state run broadcaster RAI has named Adriano Coni as new president of 01 Distribution, the distribution arm of RAI Cinema. Coni previously acted as chief of both RAI Cinema's marketing and human resource divisions.

01 Distribution has been without a president since its previous president, Carlo Macchitella, stepped down on January 30th when allegations were raised that he accepted bribes in a high profile case involving Italy's former Prime Minister and media mogul Silvio Berlusconi and British lawyer David Mills.

The case, which has been closely watched by Italian and British media, revolves around tax evasion over TV and film content deals made for Mediaset in Hollywood. While it is yet to be revealed what role Macchitella might have played in a case revolving around RAI's main competitor, when allegations surfaced that he received fraudulent funds from a Swiss bank account of Daniele Lorenzano, (who was charged with handling some of Mediaset's content deals in Hollywood),
Macchitella left his post with RAI to facilitate the investigation.

In addition to the top post at 01 Distribution, Macchitella held the key role as director general of Rai Cinema. His resignation sparked Italian directors from Bertolucci to Tornatore to write a formal appeal to RAI cinema's board that their new president is 'of undeniable moral character.' Over 100 directors put their signatures on the letter.

At the moment several key posts are vacant at RAI Cinema including president, general director, and CEO.

Previous RAI Cinema CEO Giancarlo Leone is watching over RAI Cinema's activities until a new board is named. Leone has been moved to the TV sector of the broadcaster and now holds RAI's General Vice Director's post there.

Several board meetings over the past few months intended to bring up viable nominations have come up with nil. The next nomination board meeting is scheduled for May 9. RAI Cinema through 01 Distribution held 10% of the share of Italy's market in 2006.