Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) is restructuring its worldwide television distribution operation, hiring senior management and bringing a number of new high profile programs to buyers around the globe. Seasoned distribution exec Jim Packer assumes the new title of president and remains in charge of television distribution worldwide, including U.S. barter sales and syndication, as well as all emerging forms of television programming distribution on a worldwide basis.
The restructured MGM Worldwide Television Distribution Group, led by Parker, reports to Rick Sands, coo, MGM.
After reinvigorating our domestic theatrical distribution business with over 20 new theatrical pictures a year, and establishing a dedicated MGM sales force in partnership with Fox Video, the next logical step is to expand our worldwide television distribution operation to meet our increased activity and product flow," said Harry E. Sloan, chairman/ceo, MGM, in announcing the division's restructuring. "Further, the international market for TV product has never been healthier and MGM continues to be an active and extremely competitive player in the marketplace.
Sands added: "As aggressive and smart competitors, the reorganization of our worldwide television distribution operation is simply one way of maximizing the assets in our library and positions us for future growth in the marketplace. Jim Packer has already made significant contributions during his tenure at MGM and we are pleased he will be leading us to even bigger growth opportunities in his new role as president of the group.
MGM Worldwide Television Distribution Group will handle the international television sales for CASINO ROYALE, the new James Bond movie starring Daniel Craig; and ROCKY BALBOA, the sixth and final ROCKY movie starring Sylvester Stallone. Leveraging properties within the massive MGM library, the MGM Worldwide Television Distribution Group is launching a worldwide sales campaign for the following movies:
*LEGALLY BLONDE 3 Beauty and brains bring big laughs.
*CUTTING EDGE 3 The romantic drama about the quest for victory among professional ice skaters.
*INTO THE BLUE 2 A new and exciting installment based on the action thriller about aspiring treasure hunters.
*WARGAMES 2 Scheduled to begin shooting in Montreal in November, the thrilling story of what happens when top officials try to dismantle the famous computer.
*SPECIES 4 The fourth installment of the SPECIES franchise continues in Mexico, where new experiments with DNA bring horrific results. An MGM/360 Production, Frank Mancuso, Jr. will oversee production beginning in October on SPECIES 4. Mancuso has served as the producer or exec producer on the previous SPECIES movies.
In addition to its new program offerings, the MGM Worldwide Television Distribution Group will continue to handle distribution of more than 4,000 movie titles and 10,000 television series from the MGM library, the worlds largest modern filmed and television library. Among the key television properties featured in the MGM catalogue are STARGATE SG-1, the sci-fi series that is celebrating its record-setting 200th episode on the Sci-Fi Channel, and the drama series, THE L WORD, which airs on Showtime in the U.S.
MGM has also made key promotions within the group. Joe Patrick has been promoted to evp, North America. He was svp for the studio and is based in Los Angeles. Mary Ann Pasante, who has been promoted from vp to svp of Latin America Sales and will continue to be based in Atlanta.
Packer, who joined MGM in 2001 as evp, domestic TV and was the architect of several innovative partnerships, including the MGM/UPN WEEKEND MOVIE and the PAX/MGM NIGHT AT THE MOVIES.
Packer was promoted to evp of MGMs Worldwide Television Distribution unit in April 2005, overseeing the studio's worldwide TV distribution activities, including the licensing of MGM programming to TV outlets around the world for free to air network television, basic and pay cable. Packer will continue to be based at the studios headquarters in Los Angeles.
Before joining MGM, Packer was an exec for 15 years in the Buena Vista Domestic Television Distribution unit, where he increased his areas of responsibility, handling the distribution of off-network product, theatrical films, first run series and numerous movie packages. Packer serves on the board of governors for the Museum of Television & Radio.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. (www.mgm.com), through its operating subsidiaries is actively engaged in the worldwide production and distribution of motion pictures, television programming, home video, interactive media, music and licensed merchandise. The company owns the world's largest library of modern films, which is comprised of more than 4,000 titles. Operating units include Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc., United Artists Films Inc., MGM Television Ent. Inc., MGM Networks Inc., MGM Distribution Co., MGM International Television Distribution Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Home Ent. Llc., MGM ON STAGE, MGM Music, MGM Consumer Products and MGM Interactive. In addition, MGM has ownership interests in international TV channels reaching nearly 110 countries. MGM ownership is currently as follows: Providence Equity Partners (29%), Texas Pacific Group (21%), Sony Corp. of America (20%), Comcast (20%), DLJ Merchant Banking Partners (7%) and Quadrangle Group (3%).