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 many successful but intense marketing campaigns and stressful deadlines, he will now have the chance to explore other passions and opportunities, and continue to embrace his artistic spirit. In the interim, I’m pleased that for the next few months Tony will be remaining with Fox as a creative advisor, and I look forward to calling on his wise counsel in the months ahead.
Whatever he chooses to do next, we all know that Tony will commence this new chapter of his life with the same passion and dedication he’s displayed during his time at Fox. Working alongside him has been an honor and a privilege, and I know you join me in wishing him the best in all that lies ahead.
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? Read More »
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, … Read More »
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 … Read More »
Related: Fox Ups Paul Hanneman, Tomas Jegeus To Run Global Marketing & Distribution
EXCLUSIVE: There’s yet another shake-up inside a major Hollywood studio. I’ve learned that Thursday will be the last day for … Read More »
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 … Read More »
Bumble Ward Buzzing Into Fox RP Post
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.
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UPDATE: Fox has made it official. News release below.
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.
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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. … Read More »