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FT's Content Play

Ray Le Maistre
3/26/2008

2:35 PM -- When it comes to Tier 1 incumbent carriers embracing the world of content in any meaningful way, Orange (NYSE: FTE) looks to be some way ahead of the pack.

As well as being one of the world's IPTV leaders, it has set up a "subsidiary dedicated to cinematographic investments" and backs the ESSEC Media & Entertainment Chair. (See FT Backs Media Thinktank, FT Goes to Le Cinéma, and French Carriers Ramp Up IPTV Subs.)

Now the operator's CEO, Didier Lombard, has reorganized his top team's reporting structure and appointed Raoul Roverato as "Executive Vice-President in charge of the new growth businesses Division," which comprises France Telecom's Content and Audience & On-line Advertising Divisions. (See FT Shifts Execs.)

That means Roverato -- owner of one of the industry's finest surnames and a mere 37 years old -- is "responsible for coordinating all of the Group's current or future growth initiatives." Wow -- now that's an emploi grand.

That's not all though. Working alongside Roverato is Patricia Langrand, who, in addition to her current position as head of the Content division, is now "Special Advisor to the Chairman and CEO for relations with media and content players."

That's the kind of commitment carriers will need as they try to move on from being just network operators and land owners -- FT is at least making an effort to be a "new telco."

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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