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New Miramax closing in on CEO, other senior executives

Mike Lang, a former News Corp. business development executive with a background in digital media, is in talks to become chief executive of Miramax Films once the acquisition of the independent film studio closes, people close to the matter said.

Lang has been helping to lead negotiations with Miramax owner Walt Disney Co. on behalf of Filmyard Holdings, whose partners include construction magnate Ron Tutor and private equity fund Colony Capital, as the two sides finalize details for Filmyard's pending acquisition of Miramax.

He's one of several candidates up for senior executive positions at the new Miramax. Filmyard partners have also held talks with Jim Packer, co-president of worldwide television for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Both executives have experience that will be useful in making the most out of Miramax's library of 700 titles, including the hits "Shakespeare in Love," "Pulp Fiction" and "Chicago," by distributing them on television and digital platforms. Lang was involved in News Corp.'s cable television and online businesses, including the formation of Hulu and the acquisitions of MySpace and IGN. He left the company earlier this year. Previously he was a founding executive at the former online entertainment site Z.com and worked in strategic planning for Disney.

Packer has been a senior television distribution executive for MGM, which also has a large film library, for nearly a decade.

A person familiar with the situation said Lang, who has been consulting with Filmyard in recent months, has made a strong impression on its owners and is now in negotiations for the CEO role, but no deal has been reached.

Filmyard agreed in July to acquire Miramax from Disney for $660 million. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

News of Lang's job talks was first reported by The Wrap.

-- Ben Fritz

 
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