Paramount Restructures Theatrical Marketing, Distribution and Home Entertainment Units


In a sweeping reorganization of its theatrical marketing and distribution divisions as well as its home entertainment units, Paramount Pictures announced a round of executive promotions Tuesday as well as the retirement of Jim Tharp, who will step down as president of its domestic theatrical distribution in June.

"This new structure will allow us to more effectively take advantage of worldwide opportunities, adjusting to the changing marketplace and propel us forward on a unified, global basis. Our internal operations can now be more closely alligned with our strategic operations at our Los Angeles headquarters," Paramount chairman Brad Grey said.

In restructuring its home entertainment and licensing divisions, the studio has upped Dennis Maguire, who had been serving as president of worldwide home entertainment, to head the new post of president, worldwide home entertainment, reporting to vice chairman Rob Moore.

Hal Richardson, currently president, worldwide television distribution, will take on the role of president, home media distribution, reporting to Maguire.

The studio is also centralizing its worldwide theatrical marketing operations in Los Angeles, and has promoted Josh Greenstein, its co-president of domestic marketing to chief marketing officer. Megan Colligan, who also had been serving as co-president of domestic marketing, has been promoted to president, domestic marketing and distribution and will oversee all domestic theatrical distribution and marketing for the studio. (Greenstein and Colligan are credited for innovative campaigns that make Paramount's marketing operation one of the strongest in town.)

In another key change, Paramount Pictures International president Andrew Cripps, now based in London, has been asked to move to Los Angeles. The widely respected executive hasn't yet made a decision. If he does relocate, he will keep the same title and continue to report to Moore.

Greenstein and Colligan will continue to report to Moore. Colligan will also report to Greenstein on marketing.

With Hollywood studios making so much of their money overseas--a tentpole can earn 65 percent to 75 percent of its grosses at the international box office--Moore said he wants Cripps "to be here with us in the Los Angeles office."

Added Moore in an interview with THR: "This is about looking at our organization, looking at our business, and how it's evolving--not how it was 25 years ago. It's hard, it's disruptive, but when we get through it, we will have an organization that is aligned and streamlined.

Tharp, who joined Paramount from DreamWorks and who is the existing president of domestic theatrical distribution, will retire in June 2012. Until then, Tharp will assist Moore and Colligan in transition to the new reporting structure. Tharp's retirement had been rumored for some time.

In a company email, Grey said, "Jim's retirment next summer marks an end of an era. I want to personally thanks him for his many years of service and accomplishments, and for being a real friend to all of us at Paramount Pictures."

Don Harris, who has served as executive vp of sales, is being promoted to president, domestic theatrical distribution, and will assume Tharp’s day-to-day responsibilities, reporting to Colligan.

It is unusual to combine marketing and distribution under one title. Moore said Colligan has played a key role in coming up with unique distribution strategies for such hits as Paranormal Activity and Justin Bieber: Never Say Never.

In other moves, Paramount Digital Entertainment will be folded into other divisions of the studio. Amy Powell, executive vp, interactive entertainment, will add the creation of content for digital and online games to her current responsibilities. LeeAnne Stables, executive vp, worldwide marketing partnerships, will assume responsibility for licensing of traditional video games. Both Powell and Stables will continue to report to Colligan.

Tom Lesinski, president of PDE, will be departing the studio. Lesinksi, Grey said, "was instrumental in helping us break new ground in the digital arena and we wish him great success in the future."

The reorganization doesn't appear to have resulted in widespread layoffs. The Digital Entertainment group was impacted the most.
-The Hollywood Reporter