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MGM's new board to include CBS' Fredric Reynolds, MySpace's Jason Hirschhorn

November 24, 2010 |  2:48 pm

The nine-person board of directors of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer will include well-known executives from television and online media once the troubled studio's restructuring is complete.

Fredric Reynolds, the former chief financial officer of CBS Corp., and Jason Hirschhorn, a co-president of MySpace, will be independent directors of MGM when it exits bankruptcy, which is expected to occur next month, according to documents filed Tuesday in bankruptcy court.

Reynolds worked in the television business at CBS and its predecessor company, Viacom Inc,. from 1994 to 2009, serving as CFO for his last five years. Hirschhorn was appointed co-president of MySpace, News Corp.'s struggling social-networking and entertainment website, in February, after 10 months as chief product officer. Prior to that, he was president of entertainment for Sling Media, the company behind the Slingbox television streaming device, and chief digital officer for MTV Networks.

MGM will likely be looking to tap their expertise in television distribution and digital distribution, respectively, in order to wring value out of its library of about 4,000 titles and the seven-to-eight new films it plans to release starting in 2012.

Three other members of the board will come from MGM's biggest debt holders, Anchorage Capital, Highland Capital Management and Solus Alternative Asset Management. All of MGM's debt owners will see their bonds converted to equity, which means those three firms will be among the studio's largest stakeholders following the Chapter 11 process.

Spyglass Entertainment co-founders Gary Barber and Robert Birnbaum, who are set to become chief executives of MGM, will sit on the board as co-chairmen.

The two other members have yet to be appointed. Under a deal reached with billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who acquired about 18% of MGM's debt leading up to the bankruptcy filing earlier this month, he will be able to select one of those members.

A hearing at which the bankruptcy court is expected to confirm MGM's reorganization plan is set for Dec. 2. After that, the studio will need to close a $500-million credit facility that it will use to fund operations and new productions. JPMorgan has agreed to syndicate that facility and provide $75 million of the money itself.

People familiar with the situation said MGM hopes to close the financing and exit bankruptcy by mid-December.

-- Ben Fritz


MGM files for bankruptcy protection