Amy Gruberg joins Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) as svp, media operations, responsible for shaping the media vision for MGM. She will influence all aspects of the studios media operations, including overseeing the media strategy and placement for each of the studios films, working on MGM Home Ent. releases, and building brand extensions for MGMs television partners as films enter their network and cable windows.
Two veteran FOX publicity execs have been promoted to vp as Shannon Ryan has been named vp, entertainment publicity, and Elissa Johansmeier has been promoted to vp, publicity and corporate communications. Both report to Joe Earley, evp, publicity, corporate communications and creative services for FOX, who also announced several additional promotions within the networks publicity department.
Former Digital Domain vet Dennis Hoffman has been appointed vp/head of production for Vancouver-based Anthem Visual Effects Inc. Anthem was recently awarded, for the second consecutive year, production of visual effects for Starz/IDT Ent.s anthology series MASTERS OF HORROR.
Kent Rice has been named ceo of Starz Animation, a division of Starz Media, to develop and produce animated feature-length movies. Rice reports to Clasen.
Rice is a 20-year vet with executive level management experience in cable operations, telecom and TV programming, both in domestic and international markets. Most recently, he had been executive adviser to Starz Ent., helping acquire the newly named Starz Media and the integration of Starz Media with Starz Ent.
Taffy Ent., the brand management company for childrens and animation company MoonScoop and U.S.-based animation studio Mike Young Prods. (MYP), has promoted Lionel Marty in its Paris office to president of worldwide distribution. In the newly created position, Marty heads television and video sales for all Taffy Ent.s library of popular kids programming worldwide, including the MYP-produced multi-award-winning JAKERS!, for which Taffy holds worldwide television distribution rights, and MoonScoops hit show, CODE LYOKO.
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.
Amy Pascal has been promoted to co-chairman of Sony Pictures Ent. (SPE) and has extended her deal with the studio to 2011.
In addition to her new title, Pascal will continue to serve in her role as chairman of the studio's Motion Picture Group. Michael Lynton, chairman/ceo of SPE, and the two will continue to report to Sir Howard Stringer, chairman/ceo of Sony Corp.
Olivia King Canter joins Entertainment Rights Plc. as director of sales for Latin America and Canada. She will be responsible for driving ERs business in these key territories and will be based in ERs New York City office.
King Canter report to Kathleen Hricik, evp/md of the United States of America, Canada and Latin America, as well as heads up ERs U.S. operations.
David Pierce is the new president/ceo of Atari Inc., assuming the responsibilities of ceo previously held by Bruno Bonnell. Pierce is in charge of the operational management of Atari and will partner with Bonnell to achieve strategic objectives while Bonnell will continue to serve as the company's chairman/coo, steering the creative vision for Atari.
Various news organization report that Viacom Inc. exec chairman/founder Sumner Redstone has ousted Tom Freston and the company's board of directors has appointed Philippe P. Dauman, 52, president/ceo. The board also named Thomas E. Dooley, 49, to the newly created position of svp/chief administrative officer.
IDT Ent. has been renamed Starz Media and Starz Ent. Group has been renamed Starz Ent., both wholly owned subsidiaries of Starz Llc., which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Media Corp. Liberty recently acquired IDTE from IDT Corp. Robert B. Clasen will serve as chairman/ceo of both entities and of Starz Llc., which will be the umbrella company overseeing the two operating units.
In an effort to streamline operations and facilitate the expansion of its two channels AXN ASIA and Animax ASIA SPE Networks Asia underwent a re-organization. In the last three months, the organization moved to consolidate the functions of program and brand marketing under the two channel brands AXN and Animax. In the past, staff from programming, marketing and creative services reported to their respective functional heads.
Veteran television distribution exec Ken Werner, who was in charge of network distribution for The WB for the past nine years and was an important member of the Warner Bros. team that formed The CW, has been named president, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution (WBDTD). He will take the reins of one of the leading distributors of first-run and off-network programming in the domestic television marketplace.
Werner assumes the role previously held for 17 years by Dick Robertson, who has been named senior advisor to the Warner Bros. Television Group.
Karen Roberts joins PorchLight Ent. in the newly created post of svp, acquisitions to expand the company's library of family-friendly, live-action and animated programming. Roberts will be based in Los Angeles and report to Bruce Johnson, PorchLights ceo and William Baumann, coo. Roberts and her team will aggressively identify and pursue finished feature films that support PorchLights overall acquisition strategy add new projects to the companys development slate.
Diane Nelson has been named president, Warner Premiere, the brand new direct-to-DVD production arm of Warner Bros. Ent. Nelson will report to both Kevin Tsujihara, president, Warner Bros. Home Ent. Group and Jeff Robinov, president, production, Warner Bros. Pictures.
Sid Ganis was re-elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences by the organizations Board of Governors for his second consecutive term in the office.
In addition, Robert Rehme, an Executives Branch governor and past Academy president, was re-elected first vp; Music Branch governor Arthur Hamilton was re-elected to a vp post; Sound Branch governor Donald C. Rogers was elected to a vp post; Actors Branch governor Tom Hanks was elected treasurer and Actors Branch governor Kathy Bates was re-elected secretary.
London-based Entara has created a dedicated in-house distribution division designed to expand the companys reach in the global childrens media market. Regis Brown, formally of Taffy Ent., joins Entara as evp to run the division from Los Angeles and lead the companys strategic growth in worldwide distribution, co-production, and acquisitions. Brown will focus on building and managing Entaras proprietary film and television animation entertainment business.
Anime distribution vet Marvin Gleicher joins Navarre Corp. as vp of DVD content acquisition, primary responsibility for acquiring and marketing DVD entertainment content for the companys distribution segment.
Estelle Hughes has resigned her post as the head of children's programming at U.K. commercial web ITV after three years on the job, reports VARIETY. Her decision increases concerns regarding the channel's commitment to the genre.
Hughes, who oversees the commissioning of children's programming for both ITV1 and the CiTV digital channel, will leave at the end of the month to move back into production.
Wes Wood will join Cosgrove Hall Films as its new development producer, staring in September.
After studying animation and illustration at Manchester Metropolitan University, Wood, 26, Wes has worked in the production side of animation as a freelancer and recently for puppetmakers MacKinnon & Saunders.
Jennifer Bresnan joins THE CW as svp, alternative programming, to supervise the on-going production of the network's reality franchises, including AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL, BEAUTY AND THE GEEK and the midseason series, THE SEARCH FOR THE NEXT PUSSYCAT DOLL, as well as the development of all future alternative and reality series.
Dan May has been hired as president of Blackmagic Design Inc. May joins Blackmagic as the company begins the re-location of its U.S. corporate headquarters to Milpitas, California. All operations currently handled by the Las Vegas, Nevada, office will be transferred to the Milpitas office. Blackmagic Design manufactures the highest quality video cards and converters for the post-production and television broadcast industries.
Exodus Film Group has promoted Delbert A. Whetter from svp of business affairs to coo, announced John D. Eraklis, president/ceo. In addition to directing the operating activities of Exodus, Whetter will continue to oversee all aspects of business affairs.
Oscar-winning director Robert Zemeckis is in negotiations, according to TMZ, to move his ImageMovers production company from DreamWorks Pictures to The Walt Disney Co., where his preferred performance capture format (created by Sony Pictures Imageworks) will expand the 3D slate for Pixar/Disney Animation studios under John Lasseters leadership. Disney would not confirm.
Zemeckis followed THE POLAR EXPRESS with MONSTER HOUSE (which he exec produced) and is currently directing BEOWULF for release on Nov. 16, 2007.
New York-based family entertainment company Classic Media has named industry veteran Andrew Perlman to serve as its new vp of Digital Media, responsible for managing the mobile and online content distribution strategy for the companys diverse library and characters, consisting of more than 3,000 titles, which also includes its subsidiary, Big Ideas VeggieTales brand.