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Sony formalizes Family Entertainment Group

Sony Pictures Entertainmenthas formalized the name of its newest business unit, Sony Pictures FamilyEntertainment Group (SPFE), and appointed Gary Hirsch as senior vicepresident and general manager of the division. Reporting to SanderSchwartz, president of the relatively new division, Hirsch will oversee newbusiness development opportunities for the division and its day-to-dayoperations, including business affairs, human resources, studio operations,production and marketing. Hirsch comes to Sony's SPFE from ColumbiaPictures, where he served as senior vice president of business affairssince 1992. He joined TriStar Pictures in 1987 as director of businessaffairs and was promoted to vice president of business affairs two yearslater. Sony Pictures Entertainment's Family Entertainment Group, which wasestablished last February, produces animation and live-action propertiesfor television and theatrical release around the world. The divisioncurrently produces GODZILLA: THE SERIES, MEN IN BLACK: THE SERIES, JUMANJIand EXTREME GHOSTBUSTERS. For fall 1999, the division's televisionprogramming slate includes three new series. BIG GUY AND RUSTY THE BOYROBOT, premiering on Fox Kids Network, is a 26-episode animated actionseries based on the Dark Horse comic book by Frank Miller and Geoff Darrow.ROUGHNECKS: STARSHIP TROOPERS CHRONICLES, premiering on Bohbot KidsNetwork, is a 40-episode, 3-D CGI animated action series based on RobertHeinlein's novel of the same name. DRAGON TALES, a 40-episode, animatedpreschool fantasy adventure series co-produced with Children's TelevisionWorkshop, will premiere on Monday, September 6, as part of PBS' Ready toLearn block.