Paramount marketing chief Josh Greenstein and former Fox marketing guru Tony Sella are two of the leading contenders Sony brass are eyeing to come into their executive ranks following the exit of distribution and marketing executive Jeff Blake this week. Insiders caution that there are several others are in the mix too, including execs currently at the studio. Sony CEO Michael Lynton and chair of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group’s Amy Pascal said as much on Tuesday. Specifically, Lynton said, “Right now we are going to leave the existing structure under Jeff in place, and we will be looking both internally and externally to replace Jeff.” The studio already has shored up exec Doug Belgrad and gave him a new title (President of the Motion Picture Group) and expanded duties over marketing and distribution. Also this week, longtime Sony Pictures EVP Elizabeth Cantillon left her production post to become a producer with a three-year first-look deal at the studio. So the restructuring at Sony continues.
EXCLUSIVE: It took a week from when we first broke news that Tony Sella was heading for the exits at Fox, but the move has just been made official. Studio chief Jim Gianopulos just issued an internal memo. Sella will stay on as creative advisor till his contract is up. The 20th Century Fox Film chief creative officer made the move after the department was restructured and marketing chief Oren Aviv was ousted. Paul Hanneman and Tomas Jegeus were promoted by Gianopulos to be co-Presidents of Worldwide Theatrical Marketing & Distribution. Under the new structure, both the domestic and international marketing and distribution teams will report to Jegeus and Hanneman. Sella began making noises about leaving within days.
I am saddened to advise that after 23 years at Fox, Tony Sella has decided to leave when his current contract expires in a few months. I know many of us share in the disappointment to lose from our ranks a longtime friend and colleague like Tony, and we will miss the day-to-day interaction with him. As a professional, I’ll miss his unique creative genius and style, and his commitment to his work and the company’s success. As his friend, I’ll miss his humor, his generosity of spirit, and the fun of hanging around his office.
For Tony though, I’m happy that after years of
Catch up with the top film stories you missed this week:
OSCARS: Why Michael Fassbender’s Refusal To Campaign Likely Won’t Matter
By Pete Hammond - Campaign or no campaign, in Fassbender’s case it may not matter. He’s very likely going to get nominated — and could win — for Best Supporting Actor and I think that’s a scenario whether he lifts a finger or not in doing the usual rounds.
Tom Hanks Retraces A Life In Pictures, Talks Pitfalls Of Comedy & Freedom From Self-Consciousness At BAFTA Event
By Nancy Tartaglione - Tom Hanks was in London on Saturday to spend an evening with BAFTA. The British Academy’s Life In Pictures series is a walk through an actor or director’s career – Hanks’ this evening lasted two hours, which, considering his resumé, wasn’t nearly enough time to touch on every film.
Oren Aviv Exited As Chief Movie Marketing Officer At 20th Century Fox
By Nikki Finke - EXCLUSIVE: There’s yet another shake-up inside a major Hollywood studio. I’ve learned that Thursday will be the last day for 20th Century Fox Chief Marketing Officer Oren Aviv at Twentieth Century Fox even though his contract had another 18 months to go.
Tony Sella Not Out Yet At Fox Film – But Decision Day Is Monday
By Mike Fleming Jr. - Might 20th Century Fox Film chief creative officer Tony Sella be soon following marketing chief Oren Aviv out the door?
20th Century Fox Film chief creative officer Tony Sella isn’t formally out the door yet, as Deadline exclusively revealed yesterday, but his departure is already a sales tool in some Hollywood circles. “You fired Tony Sella, saved some money there,” quipped producer Mark Gordon last night at a charity auction to Fox production president Emma Watts in front of a crowd of powerplayers. Generating a brief giggle from some of those present, the remark from the PGA co-President came during a one-liner filled big ticket auction he was conducting Saturday at the An Evening Under The Stars gala fundraiser for the LA Gay & Lesbian Center at director Roland Emmerich’s house. Gordon went on to say “Tony’s a great guy” but still thought Watts could pony up some dough and successfully bid for one of the several item like 5 days in Emmerich’s London home or 5 days on his yacht off the coast of Thailand that were on the block to raise money for the Center. She declined. Along With Emmerich, Gordon and Watts, CAA’s Bryan Lourd, Glee/American Horror Story boss Ryan Murphy, Independence Day co-writer Dean Devlin, X-Men director Bryan Singer, screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, HBO’s Michael Lombardo, Criminal Minds/Teen Wolf producer Jeff Davis, Scandal actor and writer Dan Bucatinsky and actress …
UPDATE: Both trades have picked up Deadline’s exclusive on the probable exit of Tony Sella. While they have pronounced it as definitive, I am sticking to my original report that sparked theirs. The final decision won’t happen until Monday, when Sella is likely to be a former employee of 20th Century Fox. At the moment, he is still with the studio.
EXCLUSIVE, 8:23 AM PT: Might 20th Century Fox Film chief creative officer Tony Sella be soon following marketing chief Oren Aviv out the door? I’ve heard that discussions are underway that will go through early next week at Fox to work that out but that it looks like that is where all of this is heading. The latest shakeup talk comes after Fox Film chairman/CEO Jim Gianopulos let Aviv go last Wednesday and promoted his international guys Paul Hanneman and Tomas Jegeus to be co-presidents of Worldwide Theatrical Marketing & Distribution. This was a restructuring that in Gianopulos’ mind recognizes that Fox’s future is in looking at its film business as a global game and creating cohesion between domestic and offshore campaigns for their films. Sella didn’t return an email and Fox isn’t commenting on any of these developments until they are finalized. In the announcement about Hanneman and Jegeus two days ago, the duo said in a group quote that “Tony Sella is one of the most talented creative marketers …
EXCLUSIVE: There’s yet another shake-up inside a major Hollywood studio. I’ve learned that Thursday will be the last day for Chief Marketing Officer Oren Aviv at Twentieth Century Fox even though his contract had another 18 months to go. But movie studio chairman Jim Gianopulos and Aviv agreed Wednesday afternoon that things were not working out. Unlike other studios, 20th separated its Chief Marketing Officer from Chief Creative Officer, the job long held by Tony Sella and a gig Aviv used to have at Disney films. “It’s a funky structure and there’s a reason no other studio is set up that way,” a source tells me tonight. “This isn’t a dramatic exit. Over time it’s been easy to see Oren’s frustration not to be able to make the best possible campaigns.” Aviv was hired in January 2011 as Chief Marketing Officer and also held the title of President of Theatrical Marketing along with 21-year Fox veteran Sella, who took on the additional role of Chief Creative Officer at the same time. Sella is by no means an easy exec to get along with, and at the same time Aviv came into the job with …
Twentieth Century Fox Names Debbie Miller EVP Of Marketing And Kevin Yoder as EVP Research And Strategy
BREAKING… Former Warner Bros and CBS Films executive Debbie Miller will join Twentieth Century Fox on April 23rd as EVP of marketing. The announcement was made today by Fox chief creative officer Tony Sella and chief marketing officer Oren Aviv, to whom Miller will report. Miller previously worked with Sella at Fox as a VP of national publicity. Additionally, Twentieth Century Fox has hired Kevin Yoder, who most recently worked as managing director for MarketCast, as EVP of research and strategy. He starts April 10th.
In a statement, Aviv commented Aviv: “Debbie brings an impressive mix of strategic marketing expertise across a wide array of platforms, and a distinctive, synergistic approach to everything she’s undertaken. Tony and I know we will all benefit from Debbie’s incredible filmmaker relationships and deep experience.”
Added Sella: “It’s great when you can welcome one of your family members back into the fold. Debbie is not only a perfect fit, but she gives us the experience and skills to expand upon our successes while we continue to evolve and think progressively.”
Miller previously was EVP of worldwide marketing for CBS Films. At Fox, she will oversee publicity, promotions, research, and digital marketing endeavors, while working with Aviv and Sella to develop overall marketing strategies. She joins Fox from CBS Films, where she created the studio’s marketing department when the company was established in …
LOS ANGELES (August 29, 2011) — Bumble Ward has been named Executive Vice President of Publicity in Twentieth Century Fox’s Domestic Theatrical Marketing Department, it was announced today by Oren Aviv, the studio’s President of Domestic Theatrical Marketing and Chief Marketing Officer, and Tony Sella, President, Domestic Theatrical Marketing and Chief Creative Officer. Ward will report to Aviv and Sella.
“Bumble has long been one of the industry’s most respected publicity professionals and over the past several years she has become a top social media marketing specialist,” said Aviv and Sella in a joint statement. “Her wealth of experience in both traditional and cutting edge approaches will bring an exciting new dynamic to our publicity team, as we continue to innovate and evolve to maximize the opportunities presented by the rapidly-changing media landscape.”
Ward will oversee all aspects of the studio’s domestic publicity campaigns. She will join Fox on August 30.
LOS ANGELES (August 4, 2011) __ Twentieth Century Fox (TCF) has named former Sony Pictures marketing executive Zachary Eller as Senior Vice President, Partnership Marketing and Promotions, it was announced today by Chief Marketing Officer, Oren Aviv, and Chief Creative Officer, Tony Sella, to whom Eller will report.
EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that Fox has begun telling staff and filmmakers that Oren Aviv is coming in as Chief Marketing Officer and share the title of Domestic Theatrical Marketing President with Tony Sella, who now takes the role of Chief Creative Officer. Aviv starts on February 7th. The change in Twentieth Century Fox’s marketing division began when Tom Rothman announced internally that he wanted to bring in a seasoned outsider after NY-based film marketer Pam Levine stepped down last month after 16 years at the studio. From the start, Aviv was in the mix, and then a frontrunner, for the job. But Rothman wanted to meet with others, including some candidates from outside the film marketing biz, before making a final decision. All along, Fox wanted a marketing exec to work in LA with Tony Sella. Bringing in Aviv, the job became much bigger than the one Levine held. And there was the question of whether, after moving out of a marketing role to steer production for Disney, Aviv could be content to step back into a marketing role and share the post with Tony Sella. Aviv has kept a low profile since leaving Disney in early 2010, but he resurfaced earlier this fall when he joined the Board of Directors of Digital Artists. Aviv has been advising them on digital content, production, creative, branding, and strategy.
Aviv is best known for helping produce and market Disney’s successful National Treasure franchise helping him move up from head of Buena Vista Marketing to Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production President. That is, until incoming Walt Disney Studios Chairman Rich Ross decided to put his own team in place and ultimately replace him with Sean Bailey. Aviv’s ouster was the other shoe dropping from the Dick Cook firings and not unexpected. Rumors began to swirl that the Cook loyalist’s top status would change the moment Dick was shown the door as Walt Disney Studios Chairman and replaced by Ross. When Ross first came aboard, it was announced that Aviv would take on the added responsibility of Physical Production. Aviv worked at Disney/ABC for 20 years.
LOS ANGELES (January 11, 2011) __ Oren Aviv has been named President of Domestic Theatrical Marketing and Chief Marketing Officer for Twentieth Century Fox (TCF). Aviv will work alongside Tony Sella, who is President, Domestic Theatrical Marketing, and Chief Creative Officer. Fox Filmed Entertainment Chairmen and Chief Executive Officers Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos, to whom Aviv and Sella will report, announced the hiring today.
EXCLUSIVE: I’ve just learned that Pam Levine, co-president of domestic marketing with Tony Sella and a 16-year veteran of Twentieth Century Fox, is leaving. She moved to New York four years ago which has been her base of operation since then. But my sources say her replacement will be hired, probably from outside the company, for a position in Los Angeles to work with Sella. ”The bifurcation of having co-heads in different cities just wasn’t effective, whether she stayed or not,” an insider tells me. Actually, Levine quit the job when she moved to NY but Tom Rothman convinced her to stay. “People have called her the left brain to Tony’s right brain: “He’s the creative guy and spots guy, and she was the research gal and media buys gal, the yin to her yang. It worked when she was out here, but when she moved to NY it just didn’t work anymore,” a source tells me.
UPDATE: I just received this statement from Fox Film Entertainment bosses Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos: “Pam is an exceptional and rare marketing talent, one of the very best our business has ever seen. For some time, she and we have discussed the need to centralize all marketing functions in LA, and the conflict that presents with the life she loves in NY. We are disappointed but respectful of her decision to continue her career in NY. We will miss her acumen, insight, creativity, and passion, but know that only …