James Marrinan, International Television Executive
Marrinan’s career included successful stints at companies such as Viacom and Warner Bros. International.
James Marrinan, an executive who worked at Viacom, ITC and Warner Bros. before becoming a valued consultant, died on March 23, 2012. He was 60.
According to news reports, Marrinan died following a heart attack he suffered while at Los Angeles International Airport.
Marrinan, a New York native, worked principally in the area of international television. In addition to spending 12 years at Viacom, his achievements included responsibility for annual program sales of more than $1 billion to international broadcasters during his tenure with Warner Bros. International. The series distributed overseas at that time included ER, Friends, The Cosby Show, I Love Lucy, Thunderbirds and The Prisoner. Warner Bros. International merged with Turner Entertainment in 1998.
In 1999, Marrinan and business partner David Wollos founded Entertainment Media Consultants, devoted to market analysis and consultancy services for international film and television. a company that has partners in New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo.
Survivors include his wife and a son.
A more comprehensive biography follows:
Jim Marrinan was the Founder and Managing Director of Entertainment Media Consultants (EMC). This global alliance of independent entertainment industry consultants was an outgrowth of Marrinan Multimedia Group, Inc. founded in 1995 by Marrinan. EMC provides market analysis and consulting services to the international television and motion picture industry. Its mission statement is to supply clients’ information and consulting support needed to achieve full value for programming in the global market. In this sense, Entertainment Media Consultants links the producer-distributor-broadcaster network.
Entertainment Media Consultants is a boutique management consulting group that provides “behind the scene” management consulting, entertainment asset valuation and distribution advice to an assortment of clients located throughout the world. With consulting partners located in New York, Los Angeles, and Tokyo the EMC team has worked with U.S. and internationally based broadcast networks, emerging new media companies, large and small independent distributors as well as independent producers who specialized in the area of sports programming, animation and live action production across multiple programming genres.
Its services have been engaged for best practices reviews, library valuation and sale, financial packaging of television and feature film projects, strategic merger planning, the development of global marketing and program distribution strategy, business plan development, assessment of risk/reward for gap financiers, international co-production deal structuring, internationally acclaimed computer software business development strategy as well as expert entertainment industry opinions during third party disputes.
Before the creation of his own company, Marrinan had been a member of the senior management teams at three entertainment organizations that were in various levels of growth (small, medium and large) during his employment term.
In the pre-Sumner Redstone era, he worked for Viacom, Inc.. where he held senior corporate and operating division positions in finance and administration, strategic and business planning, international marketing and sales management for the Pay Television, Cable and Entertainment divisions of the company.
As the head of ITC Entertainment, Inc.’s, International division, Marrinan spent his time developing the strategy and managing the operations for Theatrical, Video and Television distribution. Primarily due to the success of the division, ITC was acquired as part of the foundation for Polygram International’s growth and moved to London in 1995. He remained behind to seek another challenge closer to home in Los Angeles.
In 1996, Marrinan became the senior vice president of international television program sales for Warner Brothers International Television Distribution, a position that he held until the completion of the merger with Turner Entertainment in 1998. The division that he managed was responsible for over $1 billion of annual sales of Time Warner programming to terrestrial and cable outlets outside of the United States.
During his international career, Marrinan helped create the international marketing and sales strategies for top programming created by CBS News, well known U.S. Sports leagues and associations, and animation from many producers, including Steven Spielberg and Hanna Barbera. He also worked closely on the international distribution strategy for cult classics and current hits such as I Love Lucy, Thunderbirds, The Prisoner, The Cosby Show, Friends and ER. In addition, he has sold many hours of independently produced nonfiction and documentary specials, as well as low-budget series and feature films.
He was an active member in various entertainment industry trade organizations, including AFMA, where he was elected as a board member in 1995 and 1996. He was the founding member and chairman of the AFMA television committee. While at Warner Brothers, he was the studio representative at the Motion Picture Export Association. He was also a member of the board of directors of the International Council of NATAS. In addition, he was a board member of Lightworks Enterprises Inc, a growing multimedia company based in NYC.
Over the past decade, Marrinan was part of the new wave of digital media that has engulfed the entertainment industry. He consulted and provided strategic support for content International Content aggregators in their negotiations to acquire ‘“Hollywood content’“ from Major U.S. studios.
Marrinan was a leader in the global business development and media industry strategy for European video game developers such as Bigpoint GmbH (Germany); Jolt Online Games (Ireland) and Playnik (Germany). Using his vast network of Entertainment Industry contacts and clients, He was able to introduce the international broadcasting community to the synergy and the benefits of working with key MMO video game company brands. These unique and personal industry business relationships provided the game companies with access to major international investment funds and content licensing opportunities supplied by international broadcasting groups and movie studios.
Throughout his career Marrinan was on the board of directors of many television and film industry trade and business development groups such as the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and the International Film and Television Association, previously known as American Film Marketing Association (AFMA).
Marrinan, a New York City native, lived in Los Angeles with his wife. He held a BBA and an MBA from Iona College, New York.