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Richard Foster named to new post at GroupM Entertainment

11 June, 2009

Commercial Director Becomes New Managing Director And Head of Worldwide Strategy and Distribution

LONDON — Richard Foster was promoted to Managing Director of GroupM Entertainment UK and Director of Strategy and Distribution for GroupM Entertainment Worldwide from his current role as the UK unit’s commercial director, it was announced today.

In his new role Foster will be responsible for the development and execution of GroupM Entertainment's business in the UK and will help structure and oversee a coordinated global strategy for all GME content-oriented initiatives. He will report to London-based Nick Theakstone, CEO of GroupM UK, and Los Angeles-based Peter Tortorici, CEO of GroupM Entertainment Worldwide.

His role, a new position in the company, will focus on all financial aspects of the creation, production and distribution of content. He will work in partnership with companies across the entertainment sector on projects including co-productions, deficit financing, co-development agreements, and distribution agreements.

“Richard brings high-level skills, intelligence and energy to GME that will help chart our direction and accomplish our goals both in the UK and worldwide,” said Tortorici in making the announcement. “His experience in financing and innovative commercial structures has already shown strong results and has established a framework for us to move forward.”

Tortorici said Foster would explore, define, and set strategy for new areas of business for GME as well as develop and define the division’s best commercial practice, especially in North America. He also stressed that Foster’s new role will concentrate on GME financing, with branded content projects remaining the province of GroupM’s operating units: Maxus, MediaCom, Mediaedge:cia and MindShare.

“We are very excited about the progress made and the opportunities ahead in content, finance, and distribution,” said Theakstone. “Richard has driven our success, which is why we are delighted he is now in a position to take us to the next level.”

Foster added, “The key to our success has been to understand and demonstrate added value to our partners, including Broadcasters, and as the entertainment industry faces increasing financial pressures, we will continue to work with companies across the sector to develop and provide new finance and revenue models.”

Prior to joining GroupM Entertainment in January 2008, Foster served as a London-based senior vice president for Fox TV Studios. In that role he developed new content production and finance models across Fox TV Studios’ international production businesses. Earlier in his career he was a managing partner with Assessor Ltd., a privately owned consultancy where he facilitated advertiser supported distribution agreements and media rights evaluation for companies such as CBS, Paramount, Warner Bros and Formula 1. He also previously worked as business development director for media services agency OMD in London.

The primary role of GroupM Entertainment is to produce, finance and distribute entertainment properties for a wide range of international markets. The company’s business interests extend across all media platforms and a variety of content forms, including but not limited to entertainment, drama, sports and information.

GroupM is the leading global media investment management operation. It serves as the parent company to WPP media agencies including Maxus, MediaCom, Mediaedge:cia and MindShare. Our primary purpose is to maximize the performance of WPP’s media communications agencies on behalf of our clients, our shareholders and our people by operating as a parent and collaborator in performance-enhancing activities such as trading, content creation, sports, digital, finance, proprietary tool development and other business-critical capabilities. The agencies that comprise GroupM are all global operations in their own right with leading market positions. The focus of GroupM is the intelligent application of physical and intellectual scale to benefit trading, innovation, and new communication services, to bring competitive advantage to our clients and our companies.

John Wolfe
Office: 212-297-7160
Cell: 914-659-8663

Acrobat Document groupm_pressrelease_foster_jun09_guid82ff4a4afe314.pdf

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