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New WB duo share global view.

One day after being appointed co-presidents of Warner Bros. Intl. theatrical distribution, Sue Kroll and Veronika Kwan-Rubinek were sounding very much like a harmonious double-act.

"We never argue," says Kwan-Rubinek, the studio's new president of international distribution.

"We have differences of opinion but we talk them through," agrees Kroll, who was tapped prexy of international marketing.

The duo has had the chance to synchronize their roles since May, when, as senior VPs in their respective areas, they were appointed to the transitional management team at WBITD after prexy Ed Frumkes, rich from his Time Warner stock, decided not renew his contract.

Last week both were upped to president, reporting to WB president and chief operating officer Alan Horn through Richard Fox, exec VP, international.

Angelina Speare, senior VP of international operations and finance, who was the third member of that "transitional" team, is expected to play a greater role in the division.

Reaction from outside the studio was highly favorable. The promotions were welcomed by Graham Burke, managing director of Australia's Village Roadshow, which has distributed WB product Down Under for 29 years.

"Veronika and Sue are the dream team. They're tough, they're smart and they are passionately obsessed about selling tickets," Burke tells Variety. "As we are co-producing about eight pictures with WB next year, (these moves) delight me."

As to how they delineate their new roles, Kroll tells Variety in a brief break between wall-to-wall meetings, "Our jobs are very distinct and different. Where there is some overlap, we work it out."

"We feel our jobs are very complementary," chimes in Kwan-Rubinek.

Both execs say it's far too soon in their tenure to discuss any structural or personnel changes. But Kroll says they'll be balancing the old-style need to liaise with talent with a deskbound devotion to crunching numbers and plotting release dates and campaigns.

Indeed, Kwan-Rubinek notes, "Number crunching has increased due to computerization and the increased flow of information around the world."

Last year WBIT's cumulative grosses topped $1.07 billion. The division is unlikely to match that this year, despite hits led by "The Perfect Storm," the first "Pokemon," "Space Cowboys" and the re-release of "The Exorcist."

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Comment:New WB duo share global view.
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 4, 2000
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