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Theme Park Vets Take on Big Roles at Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood has named veteran theme park executive Tim Runco, vp, entertainment, and has brought attraction designer John Murdy back to the company as creative director, entertainment production.

Runco will be responsible for character development and the creative development and operation of new shows and special events as well as existing live attractions. Prior to joining Universal Studios, Runco was an independent consultant at Entertainment Creative Development and Management, based in La Habra, California, where he led concept development and strategic planning for various clients including Cirque du Soleil, T-Logic, Inc. and Hong Kong Disneyland. Runco also spent 20 years at the Walt Disney Co., Disneyland Resort in a variety of capacities including director and gm of entertainment operations, managing a $20 million operating budget and directing all aspects of entertainment operations for Disneyland, Disney's California Adventure, The Disneyland Hotel, Grand Californian and Disney's Pacific Hotel.

Murdy will oversee the creative development and quality control of all Universal Studios Hollywood shows and live attractions. Murdy rejoins Universal Studios Hollywood after spending eight years with Universal Parks & Resorts devising rides and attractions, including the recent, "Revenge of the Mummy-The Ride" roller coaster for Universal theme parks worldwide. Murdy was writer/producer at KBD Innovative Arts responsible for creative development of various entertainment projects for such global companies as Elvis Presley Enterprises, Sea World, Time Warner and Walt Disney Imagineering. Murdy began his career as a studio tour guide at Universal Studios Hollywood.

"Tim and John's combined wealth of experience and reputation in themed entertainment production, creative development and strategic planning make them an invaluable asset to the Universal Studios Hollywood team, said Michael Taylor, vp/gm of Universal Studios Hollywood, as we continue develop cutting edge rides and attractions that maximize our position as the original and authentic Hollywood entertainment experience." They both report directly to Taylor.

Universal Studios Hollywood ( is a unit of Universal Parks & Resorts, a division of Universal Studios ( Universal Studios is a part of NBC Universal.