Summit toppers Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger have agreed to run the movie division of Lionsgate, a week after Lionsgate completed its $412.5 million acquisition of Summit.
Lionsgate made the announcement Friday morning before the stock market opened. Joe Drake, current president of Lionsgate's motion picture group, has agreed to stay on through the release of Lionsgate's "The Hunger Games" on March 23 before departing.
Lionsgate co-chairman and CEO Jon Feltheimer had promised when the deal closed that he would announce the specifics of management structure within a week or two.
The announcement said Friedman and Wachsberger will oversee domestic and international feature film acquisition, production and distribution business, as well as the home entertainment releases of theatrical feature films.
"Rob and Patrick have built a remarkable organization at Summit, and they possess all the entrepreneurial leadership qualities that define our Lionsgate culture," said Feltheimer and vice chairman Michael Burns. "They are two of the most talented motion picture executives in our industry, and they have a history of building successful companies. Their addition to our senior management team should accelerate our continued growth into a global media powerhouse."...
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From LA Times
Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger, co-chairmen of “Twilight” studio Summit Entertainment, have been named co-chairmen of the motion picture group for Lions Gate, which acquired Summit Jan. 13 for $412.5 million.
In their new jobs, the duo will be in charge of all film production, acquisition, distribution and marketing operations at the combined studio, as well as new home-entertainment releases of theatrical titles. They’ll report directly to Lions Gate Chief Executive Jon Feltheimer.
They are replacing Lions Gate’s current motion picture group president and co-Chief Operating Officer Joe Drake. He will remain on board, however, to oversee the release of the studio’s high-stakes movie “The Hunger Games” on March 23.
People inside Lions Gate not authorized to speak publicly are expecting more changes inside the motion picture group as Friedman and Wachsberger bring over many of their approximately 160 employees from Summit. A significant number of layoffs are expected between the two companies, which are around the corner from each other in Santa Monica. Approximately 500 people work at Lions Gate....
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I’ve learned that after some protracted negotiations Summit Entertainment co-chiefs Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger today signed their respective employment contracts with Lionsgate. Until that happened there was nothing binding the pair to Summit’s new parent company. An announcement will come down tomorrow. Meanwhile, I’ve also learned that Lionsgate’s current movie chief Joe Drake has decided to stay and continue shepherding The Hunger Games, the studio’s hoped-for blockbuster franchise whose first installment comes out on March 23rd. Drake will be reporting to Lionsgate chairman Jon Feltheimer and vice chairman Michael Burns. The two independent movie studios will operate separately for some time with Summit a standalone label not unlike New Line and Warner Bros. Friedman will run domestic and Wachsberger will run foreign along the same division of labor they had at Summit and together run the movie division for Lionsgate. The new product pipeline of Lionsgate-Summit will be 10 to 14 movies a year. Meanwhile Friedman and Wachsberger are still very busy with Summit business: the studio’sNow You See Me starts production immediately, while Man On A Ledge releases January 27th, followed by the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 DVD selling February 11th........
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