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Image Mines First Look Brain Trust

4 Sep, 2007 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Image Entertainment Sept. 4 said it has hired three former First Look Studios executives to help expand its marketing, television, cable, video-on-demand and acquisition efforts.

Chatsworth, Calif.-based Image named Stephen DeMille SVP, marketing; Steve Saltman SVP, domestic TV sales; and J. Beck, VP, acquisitions.

The three new hires assume duties previously held by chief marketing officer Jeffrey Fink, who left Image over the summer.

DeMille helped launch A&E Home Video with Fox Lorber/New Video, co-founded A-Pix Entertainment and was head of home entertainment with First Look Home Entertainment (FLHE).

A 25-year industry veteran, Saltman will work with Barbara Gomperz-McCarney, executive director of international operations, on the Image's international broadcast efforts. He was VP, network and new media for First Look Studios.

J. Beck was VP of acquisitions for First Look Pictures.

Image COO David Borshell said the three executives were hired, in part, for their feature film production experience.

“We are making great strides in building our feature film division, one that is extremely competitive with all other independents currently in the marketplace,” Borshell said.

Image is seeking shareholder approval of its pending acquisition by BTP Acquisition Co. LLC, an investor group led by film financier and producer David Bergstein.

In the most recent quarter, Image posted a loss of $2.6 million, compared to a loss of $2.3 million during the same period last year. Ongoing merger, restructuring and legal expenses all contributed to the drop. Revenue for the quarter dropped 6.6%, to $20.9 million, from $22.3 million last year.

In March, Nu Image (now First Look Holdings) acquired “effective control” of First Look Studios, including FLHE.

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