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Turner Reorganization Boosts Koonin, Snyder, Levy

In a major reorganizational move, Turner Broadcasting Inc. Tuesday promoted veteran programming and sales executives Steve Koonin, Stu Snyder and David Levy to president positions, while Turner Entertainment Group head Mark Lazarus departs the company.

Koonin, Snyder and Levy will report to Turner Broadcasting Chairman and CEO Phil Kent, who in an e-mail sent to Turner employees Tuesday, said the changes are part of an overall organizational effort to centralize business activity among Turner’s entertainment and Animation, Young Adults & Kids Media groups.

Koonin will become president of Turner Entertainment Networks, responsible for the programming, marketing, scheduling, strategy and operations for cable networks TBS, TNT, Turner Classic Movies and TruTV. In addition, Koonin will oversee the operations of the Atlanta-based broadcast service Peachtree TV.

Levy, the newly named president of Turner Broadcasting Sales, Inc., will lead sales strategy and operations across the Turner domestic portfolio of entertainment, animation and news networks and businesses. Levy, formerly president of Turner Entertainment Ad Sales and Marketing, will also retain his title as president of Turner Sports, responsible for all sports programming, production, ad sales & marketing and league relations. 

Snyder will become president and COO of Turner Animation, Young Adults & Kids Media, responsible for programming, marketing, scheduling, strategy, operations, advertising sales and marketing and consumer products supporting Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Adult Swim and their digital extensions. Snyder, formerly executive vice president and COO of the group, will also oversee GameTap, Super Deluxe and the division’s animation production facilities in Atlanta and Los Angeles.

Lazarus leaves Turner after 18 years with the company -- the last five as president of Turner Entertainment Group. In a separate, internal e-mail, Kent said the company’s latest organizational structure did not hold a “role of scale that Mark was interested in.”

Lazarus said in a statement that he felt “a great sense of pride in what we have accomplished in my 18 years at Turner Broadcasting.  Leading and managing a group of people and a portfolio of businesses, we have achieved innovative success in the sports, entertainment and kids arenas for both television and the digital market. Having built long and enduring relationships throughout these industries, I look forward to my next challenge and opportunity.”

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.