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Pixar alum joins Wine TV

Niche broadcaster Wine Network, on air in Germany and the UK, has roped the former evp and cfo of Pixar Studios to be its third board member, as it plans to roll out its Wine TV channel across Europe through 2005/6.

Ann Mather joins the company effective immediately, adding to her other directorships at Shopping.com and Central European Media Enterprises. Prior to her five-year stint at Pixar, she worked for Disney, most recently as svp of finance for Buena Vista International.

“Ann’s extensive experience in the entertainment industry, coupled with her financial expertise positions us well as we build on Wine TV’s tremendous early launch numbers and move into the next phase of developing the business,” said Patrick Brunet, ceo of Wine Network. “Ann’s deep experience working with entertainment companies will be pivotal as we begin to establish our merchandising relationships.”

Mather added that the Wine TV channel had a “much-sought after viewer demographic, global appeal, and exceptional merchandising opportunities,” and that the SF-based broadcaster was “well set to position itself as an important global TV brand”.

Founded by two entrepreneurs, Frenchman Brunet and US/Japanese business partner Lorie Kim, Wine Network’s channel debuted on September 17, 2004, airing throughout Germany as Wein TV on Kabel Deutschland, Ish and Primacom.

This was followed by a launch on BSkyB in the UK and Ireland on November 1, 2004. The channel reaches some 20m homes, and Brunet hints at majors launches this year.

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