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PLANO, TX-Metromedia Restaurant Group has created a casual dining division to oversee its Bennigan’s, Steak and Ale and the Tavern brands. The company’s existing Metromedia Family Steakhouses division will oversee the company’s Ponderosa, Steakhouse and Bonanza Steakhouse section.

The locally based company also announced the promotion of Vince Runco to chief operating officer of the new Metromedia Casual Dining division. Runco will also continue to head the company’s worldwide franchising division.

The new alignment was done at this time to better promote the company’s internationally known brands and improve market share, says Metromedia Restaurant Group CEO Jeff Moody. The company has more than 800 restaurants in 16 countries.

Metromedia Restaurant Group is a subsidiary of Metromedia Co., a privately held conglomerate based in East Rutherford, NJ. Other subsidiaries are Metromedia International Group, a holding company with interests in telecommunications ventures in Eastern Europe; and Metromedia Energy, an independent energy marketer. According to online industry sources, billionaire entrepreneur John Kluge and executive vice president and partner Stuart Subotnick control about 20% of Metromedia Co.

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