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Paula Wagner to step down from United Artists

August 13, 2008 |  3:51 pm


Paula Wagner, who with longtime producing partner Tom Cruise was was recruited in 2006 to revive the moribund United Artists studio, is planning to step aside as chief executive, people close to the matter said today.

Her departure throws into question the fate of the struggling movie unit, which is majority owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.

Wagner has been feuding with MGM over creative and financial issues and has been in negotiations to leave her job for several weeks, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Times. Friction between Wagner and MGM Chairman Harry Sloan has developed over the lack of movies that have been greenlighted for production since she arrived, the person said.

Wagner will retain her stake in UA. She and Cruise together own about 30% of the studio; MGM owns the remainder. Wagner plans to continue producing some movies for UA as well as independently under her own label.

She is expected to exit shortly. The Wall Street Journal first reported the development on its website today.

-- Claudia Eller