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A New Match -- Berger and Pizza

1 Jun, 2001 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Ron Berger, the ousted chairman of Rentrak Corp., has resurfaced as chairman, c.e.o. and chief operating officer of Figaro's Italian Pizza, which owns 97 pizza parlors in seven Western states and is based in Salem, Ore.

Berger, 53, ran Rentrak, the Pay-Per-Transaction (PPT) home video distributor, from 1989 until last September, when he was removed from the chairmanship in a dissident shareholder coup. The ouster came just a few days after he resigned as c.e.o.

Berger had built Rentrak into the leading proponent of revenue-sharing, but the company's stock took a tumble in the late 1990s when the major studios began cutting their own direct revenue-sharing deals with key retailers, many of which, including Hollywood Entertainment Corp., had been Rentrak accounts.

Prior to launching Rentrak, Berger had run National Video from 1980 until 1988, when he sold the chain. At its peak, Rentrak had 746 franchised and company-owned video specialty stores in all 50 states and Canada.

Berger could not be reached for comment.

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