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-- Julia Rao to Lead Finance and Mark Ringwald to Lead Scheduling and Acquisitions for Forthcoming 24/7 3D Television Network --
(Los Angeles, Calif.) - Julia Rao and Mark Ringwald have joined the 3D joint venture of Sony Corporation, Discovery Communications and IMAX Corporation to launch one of the first 24/7, fully programmed 3D television networks. Rao has been named Chief Financial Officer and Ringwald joins as Director of Scheduling and Acquisitions. The announcement was made by joint venture President and CEO Tom Cosgrove.
"Julia and Mark bring extensive industry experience and incredible enthusiasm to our fast-growing 3D team," said Cosgrove. "By leveraging the unmatched strength and expertise of Sony, Discovery and IMAX, we will establish this network as the leader in 3D with the most extensive library of original and exclusive high-quality 3D content available anywhere."
As Chief Financial Officer, Rao is responsible for strategic planning, financial analysis and budgeting for the joint venture, including forecasting and analysis of all revenue and expenses relating to advertising sales, affiliate sales, programming, marketing, communications, research and staffing. Rao previously served as Chief Financial Officer for several Discovery U.S. networks, including Animal Planet, Planet Green, Discovery Health and FitTV. During that time, she played an integral role in the strategic growth and development of those businesses and had financial oversight over such brand definitional hits as WHALE WARS, RIVER MONSTERS, MONSTERS INSIDE ME, and FATAL ATTRACTIONS. She also served as Senior Director for the network portfolio comprised of Discovery Channel, Science Channel, Military Channel and Investigation Discovery, where she managed program investments for nearly 1,000 hours of original content, including signature series and special events including PLANET EARTH, DIRTY JOBS, MYTHBUSTERS, HOW IT'S MADE and DEADLIEST CATCH. Before joining Discovery, Rao served in consulting capacities at The World Bank and National Science Foundation. She received her MBA from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.
As Director of Scheduling and Acquisitions, Ringwald will oversee scheduling and programming strategy for the joint venture, including long-form and short-form program acquisition and long-term programming and scheduling strategy. Most recently, Ringwald served as Vice President of Programming for AmericanLife TV Network, a basic cable family-themed network available in over 13 million U.S. homes. He was responsible for all aspects of the look and content of the network, including acquisitions, scheduling, operations, productions, promotions, traffic and online. During his tenure, he significantly increased original content on the network, and established a vertical program schedule built around "theme nights" that succeeded in driving improved engagement and viewership. He also produced and directed educational programming and documentaries for Educational Television Services. Ringwald is a graduate of Texas Tech University.
Sony Corporation (NYSE: SNE) is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, game, communications, key device and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, computer entertainment and on-line businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading electronics and entertainment company in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $78 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2010. Sony Global Web Site: www.sony.net/
Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world's number one nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in 180 countries. Discovery empowers people to explore their world and satisfy their curiosity through 100-plus worldwide networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Investigation Discovery, Planet Green and HD Theater, as well as leading consumer and educational products and services, and a diversified portfolio of digital media services including HowStuffWorks.com. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com
IMAX Corporation (NASDAQ: IMAX; TSX: IMX) is one of the world's leading entertainment technology companies, specializing in immersive motion picture technologies. The worldwide IMAX network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event Hollywood films around the globe, with IMAX® theatres delivering the world's best cinematic presentations using proprietary IMAX, IMAX 3D, and IMAX DM® technology. IMAX DM® is the Company's groundbreaking digital re-mastering technology that allows it to digitally transform virtually any conventional motion picture into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience. The IMAX brand is recognized throughout the world for extraordinary and immersive entertainment experiences for consumers. As of March 31, 2010, there were 438 IMAX theatres (316 commercial, 121 institutional) operating in 47 countries.