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.
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.
ReelTime Rentals Inc., the first broadband network offering a true full screen, DVD quality, "point, click and watch" online television experience, announced Michael Gersh is onboard as vp of corporate communications. Gersh is responsible for ReelTimes website, the writing and production of sales and promotional pieces, media and investor relations, as well as serving as in-house press spokesman.
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.
Fred Galpern talks to Massive Black, the San Francisco-based indie team of concept artists, sculptors and animators. They are the go-to guys when the entertainment industry needs visual development and asset creation.
Only a few weeks after joining, Oscar-winner Hayao Miyazaki has resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, VARIETY reports.
A spokesman for Studio Ghibli stated the reason the director resigned was his desire to "concentrate on his creative activities." Miyazaki is in pre-production on his next feature and does not want to be distracted by Academy duties.
Miyazaki received an Oscar for his film SPIRITED AWAY and was nominated this year for HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE.
Framestore CFC has hired Camille Eden as 3D resource manager. With more than 12 years of experience in film, television and visual effects production, will oversee the care and management of the company's flourishing 3D team members, including 3D artists, lighting and technical directors.
Tribune Broadcasting, a division of Tribune Co. has promoted L. Clark Morehouse III to evp/gm of Tribune Ent. Co. (TEC), Tribune's Los Angeles-based television programming and distribution business. Additionally, Marc S. Schacher was named svp/programming and development of Tribune Broadcasting.
Morehouse will oversee all aspects of Tribune Ent. operations, including sales. He joined TEC as svp/advertising sales in 2000.
David Pritchard, former president/ceo of Film Roman has joined animation and visual effects studio GigaPix Studio as president, replacing John Savage who recently vacated that position.
Marianne Romano has been promoted to SVP, corp. communications, for Nickelodeon, MTVN Kids and Family Group.
Karen Raugust looks at how comicbook and childrens book illustrators are trying their hand at animation, and vice versa.
John Savage has resigned as president of CGI animation company, GigaPix Studios, according to GigaPix ceo Chris Blauvelt.
"I accept John's decision to move on and wish him the very best in his future endeavors," said Blauvelt. "We have initiated a search for a replacement for John and anticipate an announcement shortly."