PRAGUE, Sept 15 Central European Media
Enterprises (CME), hit by weak TV advertising markets, tapped an
executive from its main shareholder Time Warner and a consultant
to Turner Broadcasting to become co-chief executives.
The appointments, effective from Sept. 16, follow the
resignation last month of Adrian Sarbu, an 18-year veteran of
the central European broadcaster.
CME <CETV.PR named Christoph Mainusch, who most
recently worked as a consultant for Turner Broadcasting
International, and Michael Del Nin, senior vice president of
international and corporate strategy at Time Warner since 2008,
CME, founded by billionaire Ronald Lauder, has struggled
with falling television ad income in its six central and eastern
European markets since the 2008 global financial crisis and is
also coping with a high debt load.
Lauder described the appointments in a statement as a
"dynamic combination of Michael overseeing corporate matters,
allowing Christoph to focus primarily on operations."
CME raised prices earlier this year, a move which many
customers balked at, including its biggest market, the Czech
Republic, but which the company says will return it to growth.
The company, 49.9 percent owned by Time Warner, halved its
guidance for 2013 core profit (OIBDA) after first-half results.
Time Warner bought a 31 percent stake in CME in 2009 and has
gradually raised its holding.
CME used a share offering this year to cut its net debt to
$795 million at end-June from over $1 billion at the start of