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MGM Looks For the Footlights

30 Jan, 2002 By: Hive News

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios has promoted longtime senior executive Darcie Denkert to president of the newly formed MGM Entertainment Business Group and charged her with finding opportunities to take MGM properties to the stage.

Denkert will shepherd MGM's return to Broadway for the first time in decades with the launch of MGM On Stage, which will capitalize on licensing and development opportunities for MGM properties as stage productions.

"Establishing MGM On Stage places us in a unique position by providing us with yet another vital platform by which we can fully leverage MGM's vast collection of titles with the minimum amount of risk," said MGM vice chairman and COO Chris McGurk. "By penetrating this important market, MGM can expect to benefit substantially from added licensing and merchandising revenues, while always maintaining a specific level of involvement in the creative process."

Denkert, who most recently had responsibility for the MGM's worldwide entertainment business and legal affairs, has entered into a new agreement with MGM and will focus exclusively on developing initiatives across divisional lines to further leverage and promote MGM's film and television library.

Among other changes, MGM will decentralize the reporting structure of its business affairs operations, shifting them to the divisional level where the business affairs executives formerly reporting to Denkert will report to the operating heads of theatrical, television, home entertainment and music, respectively, with additional reporting responsibilities to Jay Rakow, MGM's Senior EVP and general counsel. Executives reporting directly to the operating divisions are Scott Spungin, VP -- Business Affairs MGM Worldwide Television Group; Ron Sufrin, SVP Entertainment Legal and Business Affairs, MGM Home Entertainment Group; and Fred Brown, SVP -- Business Affairs, Music. A new head of theatrical business affairs will be announced shortly.

"We feel that now more than ever the time is right to capitalize on the tremendous demand for

quality content,'' said McGurk, to whom Denkert will continue to report. "Darcie is one of our most effective and valued executives, and her superb knowledge of MGM and its assets, complemented by her strong ties to both the Hollywood and Broadway creative and business communities, provide us with the ideal blend of resources to help energize our renowned library properties."

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