Brad Grey'santicipated revolution at Paramount Pictures appeared to be underway yesterday as it emerged that the studio was holding talks with Fox Entertainmentpresident Gail Berman.
While a NewsCorp spokesman declined to comment on the development, Paramount confirmed thattalks had begun, throwing into uncertainty the current status of the leadingtelevision executive, who according to reports is either about to or hasalready resigned her post at the network.
"ParamountPictures is in discussions with Gail Berman for a senior creative role at thestudio. We hope to conclude the discussions shortly," a statement issued byParamount read.
It continued:"Ms Berman is one of the most talented executives in the entertainmentindustry, with great relationships, exceptional taste, and an amazing creativetrack record. She would be a great addition to the Paramount team."
Berman, whobecame president of Fox Entertainment in 2000 and was the driving force behindsuch TV hits as 24and Arrested Development, could represent a powerful bridge between the studio and itsViacom sister TV networks MTV, Nickelodeon and Showtime.
Paramount chairman Grey and Viacom co-chief executiveofficer Tom Freston are keen to exploit inter-divisional synergy at the mediaconglomerate in a bid to revive Paramount's lacklustre performance in recentyears.
The pair backedup talk of cross-promotional opportunities back in January, when Paramount andMTV Films signed a $16m three-picture deal at Sundance with producer JohnSingleton.
Paramount'scostly Clive Cussler adventure adaptation Sahara starring Matthew McConaughey andPenelope Cruz, opens in North American theatres on Apr 8.