MGM is revamping its worldwide television distribution operation,naming Jim Packer as president. Packer, who has been at MGM fo six years, willreport to MGM chief operating officer Rick Sands and will be in charge of TVdistribution including US barter sales and syndication as well as emergingforms of programming distribution worldwide.
Thenew group will handle international TV sales for the new James Bond movie CasinoRoyale as well as the sixth andfinal Rocky movie Rocky Balboa starring Sylvester Stallone as well as five newlyannounced sequels to existing properties which MGM will produce.
Theyare Legally Blonde 3, The Cutting Edge 3, Into The Blue 2, WarGames 2, which will start shooting in Montreal in Novemberand Species 4 which will startshooting in Oct under producer Frank Mancuso Jr.
"Afterreinvigorating our domestic theatrical distribution business with over 20 newtheatrical pictures a year, and establishing a dedicated MGM sales force inpartnership with Fox Video, the next logical step is to expand our worldwidetelevision distribution operation to meet our increased activity and productflow," said MGM chairman and CEO Harry Sloan in a statemet. "Further,the international market for TV product has never been healthier and MGM continuesto be an active and extremely competitive player in the marketplace."
TheTV group, which will also handle distribution on the titles in the MGM library,promoted Joe Patrick to executive vice president, North America, and Mary AnnPasante to senior vice president of Latin American sales.
Packerjoined MGM in 2001 as executive vice president, domestic television, but waspromoted in April 2005 to executive vice president of the worldwide televisiondistribution unit.
Prior to MGM, he spent 15years at Disney working within the Buena Vista Domestic Television Distributiondivision.