Entertainment Industry

Category: perelman

Panavision replaces CEO with former chief operating officer

Panavision Inc., the Woodland Hills camera rental company that has struggled from heavy debt and management turnover, has appointed a new chief executive.

John Suh, Panavision's former chief operating officer, was promoted to president and chief executive, the company announced in a short statement Wednesday.

Suh, who earlier worked at Technicolor and joined Panavision in March 2007 as the company's chief financial officer, replaces CEO Bill Bevins. Bevins will now serve as board chairman.

No reason was given for the move. Suh was unavailable for an interview but in a statement said his appointment was part of a transition that was planned when Bevins joined the company in 2009.

“He will remain actively involved in handling the strategic role of the company, but the day-to-day operations will now fall under my direction,'' Suh said. "This is a continuation of the plans when Bill first came on board, not a change.”

The change at the top was the latest shakeup at Panavision. In 2009, Bevins was tapped by former owner Ron Perelman to turn the company around. Perelman had ousted Bob Beitcher.

Beitcher, in turn, was succeeded by Billy Campbell, a former president of Discovery Networks. But Campbell was on the job for just a couple of months before Perelman replaced him in June with Bevins, a longtime associate of Perelman's.

A former chief financial officer for Turner Broadcasting System Inc., Bevins also previously ran New World Communications Group Inc. and Marvel Entertainment Group Inc.

Perelman's holding company, MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc., last year handed over Panavision to a group of creditors, including Cerberus Capital Management, the former owner of Chrysler.

-- Richard Verrier

 

Deluxe buys most of production services company Ascent Media

In a further sign of consolidation of Hollywood's post-production business, Deluxe Entertainment Services Group said Wednesday it has reached an agreement to acquire the bulk of Ascent Media Group, the Santa Monica-based postproduction company, for $68 million.

A subsidiary of billionaire investor Ron Perelman's MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc., Hollywood-based Deluxe is the world's largest processor of film and Blu-ray authoring services. Ascent, which provides services that help studios and distributors store, manage and distribute content, is part of Englewood, Colo.-based Ascent Media Corp., and controlled by cable pioneer John Malone.

The acquisition includes Ascent's facilities in Burbank, Hollywoood and Santa Monica that employ 1,800, as well as operations in the U.K. Ascent%20Media%20Logo

Ascent said it would retain its content distribution business, which includes providing satellite transmission services to broadcasters and networks.

Deluxe, with operations in North America, Europe and Australia, wanted to buy Ascent in order to offer a wider range of services, people familiar with the deal said. Deluxe mostly caters to the feature film industry, and Ascent is known for its work in television and commercials. The company's services include providing color correction and editing and visual effects on a variety of television shows, such as "House" and "Big Love."

Ascent Media was formely part of Discovery Communications until it was spun off as a separate company in 2008. Its holding company posted a net loss of $6.2 million on revenue of $204 million for the six months ending June 30, narrowed from a net loss of $13.7 million on revenue of $230 million for the same period a year earlier.

Ascent Media Chief Executive William Fitzgerald attributed the losses in its most recent statement to "uncertainty about the timing and pace of economic recovery that has led to ongoing volatility in the media marketplace."

-- Richard Verrier 

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