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Thornton Joins Buena Vista

Making the jump from the direct-broadcast satellite realm to the world of syndication and other programming formats, Michael Thornton has been named executive vice president, business and legal affairs for Buena Vista Television.

In his new job, Thornton -- who had been serving as senior VP of acquisitions for No. 1 DBS provider DirecTV Inc. -- will head a team of attorneys and contract-administration executives in providing legal oversight for Buena Vista’s syndication, video-on-demand, pay-per-view, pay TV and wireless businesses.

Based in Burbank, Calif., his responsibilities will extend to negotiating licensing deals and strategic partnerships, as well as production, talent and distribution agreements.

“Michael brings a wealth of industry experience to BVT,” Buena Vista president Janice Marinelli said in a prepared statement. “His strong leadership abilities, negotiation skills, strategic vision and technical and legal expertise will prove invaluable as BVT continues to push beyond the boundaries of traditional distribution.”

Prior to working at DirecTV, Thornton was VP of programming at MediaOne Group Inc.