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Film Roman pencils in new chief

November 14, 2008 | 10:33 am

Film Roman, the Burbank-based studio best known for producing the animation behind Fox's hit show "The Simpsons," has a new creative chief.Jay_fukuto_1008_2

The company announced Thursday that Jay Fukuto was named head of the studio, overseeing all of  the company's animation production operations for television, feature films, home entertainment, commercials and visual effects. Fukuto reports to Kent Rice, CEO of Starz Animation, a divison of Starz Media and parent company of Film Roman. Fukuto joined Film Roman two years ago and has been serving as the No. 2 executive in the company.

Conspicuously absent from the statement was any mention of Fukuto's predecessor, Scott Greenberg. A spokesman said Greenberg resigned from the company about two months ago to "pursue other opportunities." He was unavailable for comment.

A former entertainment lawyer, Greenberg was recruited by former owner IDT in 2003 to help turn the 24-year-old company around after years of heavy losses.  In May 2006, IDT sold sold Film Roman along with home video company Anchor Bay and other assets, to Liberty Media in a deal valued at more than $200 million.

Greenberg helped to expand the company's core work-for-hire business with cable channels such as Comedy Central while building a library of original shows that Starz Media can distribute or license to others. The studio's titles include the recently-released “Dead Space: Downfall,” a made-for-television animated feature inspired by the Electronic Arts video game “Dead Space;” Marvel Animation’s “Marvel Superhero Squad;” and “Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!” on Nick, Jr.

--Richard Verrier