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New MGM taps Ken Schapiro as chief operating officer

February 14, 2011 | 12:53 pm

KenSchapiro The new chief executives of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer have found their No. 2. Ken Schapiro, a veteran Hollywood executive who most recently served as a partner in media investment fund Qualia Capital, has been appointed chief operating officer of MGM.

Schapiro is the biggest outside hire for the studio since it emerged from bankruptcy in December with Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum as chief executives.

Qualia, which Schapiro co-founded with partner Amir Malin in 2003, looked at the financially troubled MGM in early 2010 and had proposed restructuring it with a $500-million investment. Instead, MGM entered Chapter 11 reorganization in November and raised a $500-million credit facility to help fund its future operations.

Schapiro was previously president of independent film company Artisan Entertainment from 1998 until it was acquired by Lions Gate Entertainment in 2003. Prior to that, he was executive vice president of Morgan Creek Productions, where he worked with Barber.

Barber and Birnbaum have been discussing hiring Schapiro since at least September, even before they were certain they would get the top MGM jobs.

MGM also has promoted John Bryan to president of domestic television distribution, overseeing the sale of its movies and TV programs and the studio's premium cable channels. He replaces Jim Packer, who recently left for Lions Gate, where he is now president of worldwide television distribution and digital.

-- Ben Fritz


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Photo: Ken Schapiro. Credit: MGM