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Film Roman ousts CEO

North Hollywood-based Film Roman's Board of Directors has decided thatDAVID PRITCHARD will no longer be president and CEO of FILM ROMAN. Thecompany is not yet ready to provide details on the circumstances ofPritchard's leaving. Chief operating officer BILL SHPALL and senior vicepresident JON VEIN will take over Pritchard's responsibilities until a newpresident is named. David Pritchard was named President and CEO of FilmRoman in August 1997. Pritchard had been CEO and partner ofPritchard/Ecclesine, a live-action and animated TV and film productioncompany. Pritchard's appointment as CEO came at a time when Film Roman, apublic company, was suffering from downsizing and a decrease in stockprices. Two months after his appointment, UPN cancelled its order for 13episodes of THE BLUES BROTHERS, a series for which Film Roman had optionedthe rights, part of a plan "to produce proprietary programming," accordingto John Vein. As the producers of THE SIMPSONS and KING OF THE HILL, FilmRoman had learned that producing even the most successful series isprofitable mostly to those who own the merchandising and distributionrights. Recently, Film Roman has announced several projects, but onlyDOOMSDAY, an animated sci-fi/comedy series created by writer/producer TracyTorme, and executive produced by Howard Stern, has been picked up fordistribution, again by UPN. In February of 1999, Phil Roman resigned fromhis post as chairman of Film Roman. He quickly set up a new studio, PhilRoman Entertainment, and has recently announced a TV special, THE GAUDINS,which will be ready for Christmas 2000, and a feature, CYBER QUEST, due tobe released in 2001.