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RCA Press Release for August 24, 1983


RCA to Expand Videodisc Marketing Activities in Consumer, Educational and Institutional Markets

Arnold T. Valencia to Have Responsibility for Player and Disc Program as Division Vice President and General Manager of New RCA VideoDisc Division

An expansion of marketing activities involving all aspects of RCA's "CED" VideoDisc system was announced today by Roy H. Pollack, RCA Executive Vice President.

The move follows the introduction of the company's first random access player that has applications in the educational, institutional and consumer markets.

Arnold T. Valencia has been promoted to the position of Division Vice President and General Manager of the new RCA VideoDisc Division. Mr. Valencia, previously was President of the RCA Sales Corp., and the RCA Distributing Corp. He will report to Jack K. Sauter, RCA Group Vice President.

"The expansion of RCA's marketing efforts is a direct result of the broad movement of the video disc business into new areas of application and sales opportunities, both here and abroad," Mr. Pollack said. "What started out as primarily a consumer business is now evolving sooner than expected into a multi-market opportunity for RCA as the developer of the 'CED' system."

The new interactive discs give the user an opportunity to exercise command and control over information flowing to and from the player. The two-way flow differs from that in conventional-video discs which send information only from the disc to the viewer. With interactive discs and a random access player, for example, the user can make choices that alter the outcome of a story contained on the disc.

"In the new organizational structure, various VideoDisc functions throughout RCA have been combined under Mr. Valencia into one cohesive group that will focus on the growth of RCA's existing VideoDisc business while developing new markets and applications for the system," Mr. Pollack said.

"Total coordination of software and hardware is essential to optimize consumer acceptance, because software drives the system," Mr. Pollack stated. "Through this coordination, RCA's combined distribution efforts will strengthen sell-through results of both the disc and player. We are most gratified that major suppliers of entertainment product recognize the viability of the 'CED' video disc business and are now actively pursuing custom pressing."

Mr. Valencia will be headquartered in New York and will be supported by a staff consisting of:

David M. Arganbright - Division Vice President, Business Planning

Bruce G. Babcock - Division Vice President, Special Marketing

Dr. Jay J. Brandinger - Division Vice President and General Manager "SelectaVision" VideoDisc Operations

Thomas G. Kuhn - Division Vice President, "SelectaVision" VideoDiscs

Mr. Arganbright will be specifically responsible for business planning and international sales activities involving RCA's "CED" system. The system will be launched in the United Kingdom this fall in a joint effort with Hitachi.

Mr. Babcock will direct RCA's efforts in the growing area of custom pressing of video discs for other "CED" brands being sold in the consumer market.

Dr. Brandinger, in addition to his responsibility for "CED" system development and manufacturing of video discs at the company's Indianapolis facility, will also be directing RCA's development and marketing efforts in the area of interactive video discs.

Mr. Kuhn will continue to be responsible for the acquisition and development of programming for the RCA VideoDisc system. He also will be responsible for the marketing and merchandising of both players and discs.

Stephen S. Stepnes, previously Manager, Consumer Markets in the Consumer/Professional and Finishing Markets section of the Eastman Kodak Company, will join RCA as Division Vice President, Marketing for the RCA Consumer Electronics Division in Indianapolis. In this position he will be responsible for all marketing activities involving the division's color and black-and-white television and video cassette recorder products.

Mr. Stepnes will also serve as President of the RCA Sales Corp. and President of the RCA Distributing Corp., positions previously held by Mr. Valencia.

A 19-year veteran of Kodak, Mr. Stepnes has been directing that company's extensive marketing efforts for consumer products in the United States. With considerable marketing experience in sales, advertising, planning and market research, Mr. Stepnes previously held the positions of Director, Marketing-Europe and Director, Business Planning - U.S.

The new random access player, formally introduced by RCA two weeks ago, represents the first video disc player in the United States market that offers programmable capability for "applications beyond simple home entertainment."

With an optional retail price of $499.95, the new SJT400 player can also provide a variety of interactive applications for the user. RCA also introduced two interactive discs, with a third scheduled for November. In addition to RCA, several other major program sources, including CBS Publishing, Walt Disney Home Video, and Paramount Home Video, are developing interactive programs for the "CED" video disc system.


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