DEVELOPING ORIGINAL TV CONTENT FOR TOP MARKETERS

Sunta Izzicupo Becomes Principal of Magna Global Programming

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Who: Sunta Izzicupo, newly appointed principal of Magna Global Programming, part of Interpublic Group of Cos.' Magna Global Entertainment. She'll develop original TV shows and
Sunta Izzicupo's latest project before joining Magna Global was the production of the miniseries 'Hitler: The Rise of Evil.'

other content for a client base that includes Johnson & Johnson and other major marketers.

Credentials: Ms. Izzicupo is a 20-year veteran of the TV business. She started out in the mid-1980s working with Leslie Moonves at 20th Century Fox. She joined CBS in 1989, beginning a 13-year stint during which she would rise to head of the TV movie department and eventually supervise the production of more than 40 movies a year. Her credits include the TV movies Buffalo Girls, Jesus and Joan of Arc.

What is your philosophy on making original programming work for marketers and media?
"For the clients, the key is understanding the brand and the brand's message. The main issue is coming to understand that brand message and surrounding the brand with content to convey that message. The content also has to fit the brand of the network. The networks are now using those advertising and media terms. They have demographics and target audiences. The key is to have true synergy between the broadcast venue and the clients."

What attracted you to Magna Global Entertainment?
"Bringing client media dollars to original content feels like a new paradigm. It's actually an old one. It started out that way, but it's different now. It's more sophisticated, and I think there's more synergy between network and client."

One of your specialties is the miniseries. Do you see much potential for that genre in the realm of branded content?
"Magna hasn't done one yet and we're exploring every genre now. We're trying to see what works for the network and the client and come up with an economic model that make sense. A miniseries is very expensive and a risk on night two. It's a risk, anyway; it's an expensive commodity."

You left CBS in 2002 to work as a consultant. What have you been working on since?
"Well, I tackled Hitler. I consulted on the four-hour miniseries Hitler: The Rise of Evil. I also consulted with several European companies in the co-production world. I did work with local producers and writers. I was sort of an unofficial manager. I like hooking projects up with talent and that’s what I'm going to do at Magna, too."

What the difference between working for marketers and working for a network?
"I don't think it'll be that different. When you work at a network you want to bring in a viewer and you're branding your programming to bring in a particular type of viewer to sample your product -- exactly what you do with branded television. An important part of it is for the brands to communicate with the networks what they're looking for in the world of content and for the network to communicate with corporate clients about what they're needs are -- and have that be a strong marriage. Initially, that will be my main goal."