Joel Whitten “Whit” Richardson III has been promoted to President of Turner Latin America, as announced by Turner International President Gerhard Zeiler, to whom Richardson will report. A 23-year veteran of the company, Richardson was most recently EVP of Distribution for Turner Latin America.
Richardson will now assume executive oversight of Turner’s regional portfolio of general entertainment, kids (including Boomerang and Cartoon Network), sports and free-to-air brands; distribution and ad sales of those brands; the distribution of CNN’s services; and licensing and merchandising activity in Latin America. The largest of Turner’s international divisions, Turner Latin America’s portfolio was once again the highest-rated pay TV offering in the region in 2016 (per Kantar Media).
“I am excited for the opportunity to lead Turner Latin America, and grateful for the confidence of Gerhard and Turner’s executive management,” said Richardson. “The industry is in a time of rapid change, and Turner is uniquely qualified to lead the transformation of the media business in Latin America. We will prioritize collaboration, innovation and change as we move aggressively to position for continued growth and success.”
As EVP of Distribution, Richardson oversaw the company’s pan-regional affiliate sales team. He relocated to Atlanta in 2014 from Buenos Aires, where he was GM of Turner Argentina in addition to his distribution duties. As GM, Richardson was at the forefront of the company’s local expansion from 15 employees in 1998 to approximately 750 today. He played a key role in the acquisition and integration of Imagen Satelital (where he serves on the board) and the acquisitions of Chilevision, Esporte Interativo and CNN Chile.
Richardson joined Turner in 1994 as an Account Executive and was promoted to Sales Manager for the Caribbean and Venezuela in 1995. He went on to serve as Director and Senior Director of Distribution for the Andean and Caribbean countries and cruise ships before moving to Buenos Aires in 1998.
Prior to Turner, Richardson worked in the capital markets division of Société Générale in Madrid. He holds a master’s degree in international business studies from the University of South Carolina, Columbia and a bachelor’s in history from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He currently sits on the boards of the Fulbright Commission in Argentina and Village Cinemas Argentina. Richardson was recently named “one of 2016’s 15 most influential media figures in Latin America” by Prensario magazine.
“Whit is a highly respected executive inside and outside Turner. I am delighted that he accepted the offer to become the next President of Turner Latin America. The company will benefit from his leadership skills and wealth of experience, especially as we navigate through a dramatically evolving media- business future demanding dynamic change,” said Zeiler.
“His enduring successes in affiliate sales and marketing, in establishing our Argentina hub as a nationally-respected employer, his sharp mind, strategic approach and process-orientated management, make him the ideal choice to lead our business in Latin America; he has a clear vision of how we adapt the organization to truly become a next generation media provider.”