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Doctorow New GM at MGM

12 Jul, 2006 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Eric Doctorow, the former president of worldwide home entertainment for Paramount Pictures, is back in the majors. He's been tapped by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment to manage its dedicated MGM home entertainment unit.

Doctorow left Paramount after a January 2003 management shakeup and subsequently worked at game manufacturer THQ and then Ventura Entertainment Enterprises, the recently dissolved independent home entertainment distributor. Earlier this year, much of Ventura was absorbed into First Look Studios through an asset sale. Founder Larry Hayes came along in the transition, but Doctorow and Ventura parted ways.

At Fox, Doctorow will report to Simon Swart, the division's EVP and GM, North America, and Keith Feldman, EVP and GM, international. As GM worldwide of MGM, he will command a unit with some 50 employees whose duty it is to manage MGM's worldwide home entertainment rights in the global marketplace.

“This unique structure provides for a concentrated sales and licensing effort focused on the MGM home entertainment brand, encompassing MGM's increasing slate of new theatrical releases and direct-to-video projects as well as the more than 4,000 films and 10,000 episodes of television programming in its vast library,” said Rick Sands, COO of MGM.

The hire follows the consolidation of MGM's worldwide home entertainment distribution activities with Fox. Previously, Fox handled only the international market, while Sony Pictures Home Entertainment — which more than a year ago led a consortium of investors in buying MGM — handled domestic home entertainment distribution. As a result of the consolidation, many of the employees of MGM Home Entertainment who had worked alongside Sony marketing and sales executives have been hired by Fox.

Mike Dunn, worldwide president of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, said he expects the infusion of MGM product to “significantly grow” his division's share of the overall catalog business, which historically has stood at about 10%.

“Working closely with MGM's operational team, this new division will provide the committed attention required to effectively service MGM while also leveraging our state-of-the-art supply chain and our own releases to create unique propositions for both studios, the retailer and, most importantly, the consumer,” Dunn said.

Swart praised Doctorow as “a dedicated and experienced executive who is both highly competent and creative.”

“While his previous experience makes him the obvious candidate for the job, it is Eric,s unique vision and enthusiasm for the MGM business that will help us to achieve our anticipated growth projections,” he said.

Feldman praised Doctorow's longtime relationships with international retailers and distributors amassed during his 10 years of running Paramount's worldwide home entertainment business, saying, “We'll be perfectly positioned to continue to grow MGM's home entertainment business both here and abroad.”

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