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Paramount fills long-empty home entertainment slot

October 15, 2009 |  2:33 pm

DennisMaguire After five months without a president of worldwide home entertainment, Paramount has promoted Dennis Maguire, who previously oversaw DVD sales overseas, to the post.

Maguire became president of Paramount Home Entertainment International in 2006 after holding the same post at Walt Disney Studios, where he worked for 23 years.

He replaces Kelley Avery, who unexpectedly left the job in May. Avery had previously overseen home entertainment for DreamWorks and took the job at Paramount when it acquired her former employer in 2006.

Maguire takes the job at a time when DVD sales, which have been a cash cow for movie studios for the last decade, are rapidly declining and studios are determining how to handle fast-growing but less profitable rental businesses such as Redbox and Netflix, as well as attempting to boost sales of high-definition Blu-ray discs.

"There are a lot of challenges in home entertainment, and it's good to have someone in the job I'm comfortable with and know well," said Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore, to whom Maguire reports. "He feels ready to take on bigger challenges."

Maguire worked with Moore to negotiate the studio's unique deal with controversial DVD kiosk company Redbox, under which the studio is studying its effect on sales this fall before potentially triggering a five-year, $575-million deal at the end of the year.

Moore has been directly overseeing Paramount's domestic DVD business since Avery's departure in May.

--Ben Fritz

Photo: Dennis Maguire. Credit: Paramount Pictures.