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Multimedia Canada: multi-marketing creativity.

"When I started at Multimedia, I was in charge of acquisitions. I could evaluate not only the program value, but also see how much money was on the screen rather than in the producers' pockets," said Michel Zgarka, executive vp and director of development for the Multimedia Group of Canada.

"We're strictly a distributor who's not involved in any aspect of production, except in the financial aspect," emphasized Zgarka. "We do not want to be, in any way or form, in conflict of interest with our suppliers who are producers.

We don't have any line producers on staff, or anybody close to or remotely involved in the day-to-day job of production."

Multimedia finds quality" by going to the markets. "We might focus on what we need for children. We'll do a direct mailing of the main producers for the type of product that we're looking for. This is a team effort overseen by one or two people.

Also, the company tries to be cognizant of everything that goes on in the world, by reading an enormous amount of material. "Personally, I try to read everything in both English and French that I'm aware of - not only the trades, but also the financial magazines, TV guides, etc."

Last year, Multimedia made $4 million in international sales, over half of the $7 million of the company's revenues.

"We would like to expand in three areas: children, documentaries and entertainment events. Both parents and children should benefit from the shows they watch," stated Zgarka. When asked what constitutes a good documentary, he replied, one that doesn't make you fall asleep while watching it!"

The company is involved in both the U.S. and Canadian markets, servicing both French and English broadcasters with offices in both Toronto and Montreal. Each office oversees every aspect of program sales and marketing, continuing to expand the distribution network through direct network purchasing, syndication, sponsorship and barter clearances.

It has its own home video market label, Video Club of America, with cartoons, first run features, how to's and other programs sold to video rental outlets, retailers and mail order purchasers in Canada. A new office in Paris has been opened, which specializes in barter distribution of feature films and television programs to Africa and Eastern Europe.

Zgarka predicted that a U.S. office will be opened in the near future , which he hopes, will be based in Los Angeles. "I love the movement and the excitement. It's good for the company."
COPYRIGHT 1992 TV Trade Media, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Video Age International
Article Type:Company Profile
Date:Apr 1, 1992
Words:413
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