Paramount Pictures threw out the book on Hollywood corporate structure yesterday [Jan 10], choosing not to replace departing president Gail Berman and creating instead a creative triumvirate that will report directly to Brad Grey.

Apart from the chairman, the three people now charged with setting the slate are Scott Aversano, the recently promoted president of MTV Films/Nickelodeon Movies, production chief Brad Weston, and John Lesher, the president of Paramount Vantage.

Weston's promotion from co-president of production contrasted with the fate of his former co-president Allison Shearmur, whom the studio said was stepping down.

The reshuffle follows the announced departure earlier in the day of studio president Gail Berman after 18 months in the job.

'This new arrangement further fine-tunes our label strategy, and creates a clear path for targeted development for the Paramount slate,' Grey said.

Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks will each be responsible for providing the slate with six to eight films a year. MTV Films/Nickelodeon Movies will release four to six, and Paramount Vantage up to 10.

'We are confident that with Scott at MTV/Nickelodeon, Brad at Paramount Pictures, John at Vantage and Stacey at DreamWorks, that they will all shepherd great movies and filmmakers as we continue to rebuild the studio.'

'Brad and Scott have proven themselves as pros. John is off to an extraordinary start at Vantage, and Stacey has got DreamWorks well in hand. It makes all the sense in the world to use the strength of our bench to lead the production team.'

'Alli [Shearmur] is an extremely talented executive and we appreciate all she has contributed to Paramount's turnaround. We know she will continue to be a formidable force in the filmmaking world.'

Earlier in the day Grey had this to say about Berman: 'Gail's dedication in the last 18 months has been invaluable during this important and historic time at Paramount. We respect and appreciate her contributions in reshaping the direction of Paramount Pictures.'

Since she arrived from Fox Broadcasting Company (as president of entertainment) in March 1995, Berman has come under intense scrutiny. Yet she shepherded several high profile projects such as Dreamgirls and World Trade Center, as well as Nacho Libre, Failure To Launch, and the current release Freedom Writers.

'From my days on Broadway to my time at Regency Television and Fox and then Paramount, my passion has always been creating exciting entertainment,' Berman said. 'I'm grateful to Brad Grey for the chance to help bring great films to life and look forward to new professional opportunities ahead.'