WBDTD sells Meril on exec vp role


Rick Meril has been promoted to executive vp and general sales manager at Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, overseeing the distribution sales activities for the company's first-run and off-network properties.

Meril, who has served as senior vp since joining the company in 1999, will oversee the distribution sales activities for product from Warner Bros. Television, Telepictures Prods. and Warner Horizon Television and feature films from Warner Bros. Pictures and the Turner Entertainment library, which includes classic MGM and RKO feature films.

Meril also will oversee the day-to-day operations of WBDTD's administration, research, marketing, creative services, programming and new business development teams. He reports to Ken Werner, who was named president of WBDTD in August.

"In addition to being an expert salesman and creative dealmaker, Rick is a terrific executive and incredibly respected by the station community," Werner said. "He has added to that reputation by leading the WBDTD team that is in the process of concluding an extremely successful effort licensing the first cycle of 'Two and a Half Men.' "

Other off-net programs distributed by WBDTD include "Friends," "Sex and the City" and "Will & Grace." WBDTD also distributes seven first-run shows, including the talkers "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," "The Tyra Banks Show" and rookie "The Dr. Keith Ablow Show," the newsmagazine "Extra" and the court show "The People's Court."

Before joining Warner Bros., Meril spent 16 years at Cox Broadcasting, where his posts included executive vp general sales manager, television syndication, for the company's Rysher Television.