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.