Schwartz tops SPTI int'l prod'n

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Tasked with leading a global programming expansion, production veteran Sander Schwartz was named president, international production at Sony Pictures Television International on Wednesday. In his new posting he will head SPTI's worldwide production group.

The appointment comes in the wake of a significant expansion of SPTI's local language production efforts across the globe, which have resulted in more than 9,000 hours of programming in more than 30 countries in 13 languages.

SPTI is the division of Sony Pictures Entertainment that is responsible for all television, mobile and digital distribution businesses outside of the U.S. Schwartz will relocate from Los Angeles to SPTI's European headquarters in London and will report to SPTI's president, Michael Grindon.

Schwartz has a mandate to lead the international production group into a new phase of growth, according to Wednesday's announcement. SPTI has production offices in France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Miami (producing for Latin America), the People's Republic of China, Russia, Spain and the United Kingdom. SPTI produces a wide range of programs in these markets including original series, telenovelas, game shows, light entertainment, and productions based on successful U.S. formats.

"Sander brings with him his significant production experience, great management skills and a thorough understanding of international television markets," said Grindon. "We are very fortunate to have him back at Sony where he will devote his efforts to accelerating our growth in the international production business."

Schwartz's new posting marks his return to Sony where he previously spent 12 years in a number of executive positions. He became president of Warner Bros. Animation in 2001 and was responsible for the development, production and distribution of family entertainment films, television programs, home video and online content. Additionally, he was responsible for developing and implementing the online strategy for SPE's family entertainment business.

"I have had the privilege of working with Michael and his team before and I am very pleased to be joining them in this new role," said Schwartz. "I believe that SPTI is the preeminent international production and distribution company with great potential for further growth in all genres of programming for audiences worldwide."

From 1995 to 1999, Schwartz established and oversaw Sony Pictures children's television programming as executive vp and general manager, children's programming for Columbia TriStar Television (now Sony Pictures Television) in Los Angeles. Under Schwartz, the division produced 11 series with over 450 half-hours of syndicated and network programming.

Steve Kent formerly led the international production group out of Culver City before he moved to Sony's domestic TV arm, Sony Pictures Television, where he is senior executive vice president, programming.
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