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in Filmmaking
on Jun 3, 2008

Nikke Finke at her Deadline Hollywood Daily is reporting that the marketing, distribution and physical production departments of Paramount Vantage are being folded into its parent company, Paramount. Here’s the official press release:

Paramount Pictures and Paramount Vantage today announced the consolidation of its marketing, distribution and physical production departments, which will serve both entities. The merged marketing department will be lead by Gerry Rich (President, Worldwide Motion Picture Marketing). Megan Colligan and Josh Greenstein who were promoted to Co-Presidents of Domestic Marketing, will report to Mr. Rich. The consolidated distribution department will be lead by Jim Tharp (President, Domestic Theatrical Distribution) and the combined physical production department will be headed by Georgia Kacandes, Executive Vice President, Physical Production. Mr. Tharp and Mr. Rich will continue to report to Rob Moore, Vice Chairman, Paramount Pictures. Georgia Kacandes will report to Brad Weston, President, Production, Paramount Films.

“The new consolidated structure allows both Paramount and Paramount Vantage to leverage the strengths and resources of a combined talent base, while minimizing redundancies and optimizing efficiencies,” said Rob Moore, Vice Chairman, Paramount Pictures.

“Today’s change is in line with our strategy to restructure the business for the long term,” added John Lesher, President, Paramount Film Group. “It takes into account the dynamic nature of the marketplace and positions Paramount for the future.”

The combined resources of these departments will service Paramount Pictures, Paramount Vantage, DreamWorks Pictures, MTV Films, Nickelodeon Movies, as well as distribution partners Marvel and DreamWorks Animation.

This isn’t comparable to the shutdown of Picturehouse and Warner Independent which, despite Warner President and COO Alan Horn’s protestations to the contrary, really does seem to signal that studio’s departure from the independent business. Paramount Vantage head Nick Meyer is still in place, and he’ll continue to report to Paramount Film Group President John Lesher, who formerly ran Vantage. But it’s definitely another blow to the idea that specialty films need their own specialized marketing and distribution departments to properly release their films.

Anne Thompson reports on this news here at Variety.

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