FitzPatrick leads new media at RHI


RHI Entertainment has named Paul FitzPatrick to the newly created position of executive vp, overseeing all of the company's new-media initiatives.

FitzPatrick, whose appointment is part of a push by RHI into digital media, also will serve its principal liaison with the multichannel industry and work on various corporate ventures.

Following his tenure as executive vp and COO of Crown Media Holdings, owner and operator of Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel, FitzPatrick consulted with RHI on its foray into new media.

"We are excited to have Paul join our executive team," RHI COO Peter von Gal said. "RHI is committed to becoming a leader in new-media development, production and distribution in addition to further branching out with our multichannel and other nonlinear initiatives. Paul's impressive track record, powerful vision and broad experience will help RHI achieve its future goals."

FitzPatrick, a 30-year veteran of the industry, played a key role in the growth of Hallmark Channel and also served as interim CEO of Crown Media Holdings. He announced his resignation from Crown Media, which he joined in 2000, in October, following the news that Henry Schleiff had been named president and CEO of the company. FitzPatrick had been serving as executive vp and COO since 2001.

"Paul was instrumental to the success of Crown Media, where he did a phenomenal job," RHI president and CEO Robert Halmi Jr. said. "We are so pleased as an organization that he has joined us full time."

RHI is a major producer of TV movies and miniseries. The company, which has offices in New York, Los Angeles, London and Sydney, delivers an average of 40-60 projects a year to various distribution platforms worldwide.

Added FitzPatrick: "How often does one have an opportunity to work with the best in class and do so at an extraordinary time for the business? Not often. Working with Robert Halmi Jr., Peter von Gal and the great talent at RHI has been a terrific experience over the past six months. I'm thrilled with this opportunity to be a member of the RHI team."

He also has served as COO of the Golf Channel and president of the Weather Channel and NewsTalk Television, which he founded and launched in the early '90s. In the 1980s, FitzPatrick was president of C-Span, where he also was a member of its board of directors and executive committee.