Meridian Announces New Key Appointments for American Operation

At 9am on May 14, Meridian Audio announced that Walter Schofield will be assuming the position of President of Meridian America at the company's Atlanta office on June 1. Jeff Dean will run Meridian's newly established Hollywood office.

Schofield was previously vice-president of sales and marketing at Mark Levinson, a division of Harman Specialty Group, which restructured its operations in January 2008, closing facilities in Bedford, MA and Billerica, MA, and consolidating operations to its Northridge, CA campus.

Jeff Dean comes to Meridian from the entertainment industry, having served as vice president of sales and marketing at A&M Records and president of Silverline Records.

"Having Walter and Jeff join us is quite exciting," said Meridian Chairman Bob Stuart. "It's a sign of our growth. Our team in the US has done a remarkable job of growing the brand. Our technical sales specialists Marc Koval and Ken Forsythe have established Meridian as first-tier and [COO] Norm Steinke has done a fabulous job of growing our dealer network, and he will continue to do that. We're looking at Walter to grow the operation to reflect our appetite—and to augment our distribution in non-traditional channels."

By "non-traditional channels," Stuart was referring to, among other things, Meridian's F80 table radio, which is sold in outlets such as Harrod's and, as of summer 2008, Macy's. "The audio industry has not done a good job of establishing listening to music as a part of a life well lived," said Stuart. "Walter and Jeff will be instrumental in helping us overcome that."

Dean's establishment of a Hollywood office for Meridian reflects that belief. "You could say that it's also a consequence of our having acquired new venture partners," said Meridian CEO Tim Ireland, alluding to the December 2007 alliance between Meridian and Muse, a consortium of investors that included movie production companies Regency Ventures and Consolidated Media Holdings, among others.

Stuart added, "Of course, with our involvement with DVD-Audio and a few projects we're currently working on, we are quite close to the content providers in southern California—not just the movie studios, but the recording studios as well. We've been encoding Blu-ray soundtracks and working on the authoring tools."

Dean's brief will also include introducing "Meridian solutions" into industrial environments, such as screening rooms and editing suites, as well as "evangelizing" Meridian technologies among content providers.