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Sundance Finally Names Top Management Team

Sundance Channel has brought in a new creative andmanagement team, finally hiring a permanent president and recruiting a new programmingchief.

Last week, on the eve of the Sundance Film Festival, thepremium movie service named Larry Aidem president. For the past six months Aidem, who wasalso executive vice president of business development at Showtime Networks Inc., had beenserving as acting president of the network. Now he will be at Sundance fulltime, fillingthe slot left open when former Sundance president Nora Ryan exited about a year ago.

Sundance -- a partnership of Robert Redford, Showtime andPolygram Filmed Entertainment -- also appointed Tom Harbeck executive vice president ofprogramming and creative director. Liz Manne was named senior vice president ofprogramming and creative marketing, as well as executive vice president of 'SundanceChannel Presents,' a unit that will be created to acquire exclusive independent filmsfor the network.

Aidem said that Harbeck, most recently senior vicepresident of Nickelodeon marketing and on-air promotion, is replacing Dalton Delan, theTravel Channel veteran who was Sundance's executive vice president of programming andcreative director. Aidem said that Delan's departure was a mutual decision.

Manne most recently served as executive vice president ofmarketing for Fine Line Features, a division of New Line Cinema.

Aidem said that Harbeck and Manne were'handpicked' by Redford, and Harbeck will report directly to Redford.

Sundance now has 3 million to 5 million subscribers,according to Aidem, who declined to be more specific. The network, which is expected toturn a profit this year, will soon be announcing several new affiliation deals with MSOs,he added. Sundance's distribution is increasingly coming through new product tiers.