Jim Packer leads new senior management team as president. First effort is international sales for Casino Royale and Rocky Balboa.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. is revamping its worldwide television distribution operation, hiring senior management and bringing a number of new high profile programs to buyers around the globe.
The restructured MGM Worldwide Television Distribution Group, which reports to Rick Sands, chief operating officer, MGM, is headed by long-time distribution executive Jim Packer, who assumes the new title of president. In this position, Packer remains in charge of television distribution worldwide, including U.S. barter sales and syndication, as well as all emerging forms of television programming distribution on a worldwide basis.
“After reinvigorating our domestic theatrical distribution business with over 20 new theatrical pictures a year, and establishing a dedicated MGM sales force in partnership with Fox Video, the next logical step is to expand our worldwide television distribution operation to meet our increased activity and product flow,” said Harry E. Sloan, MGM chairman and CEO in announcing the division’s restructuring. “Further, the international market for TV product has never been healthier and MGM continues to be an active and extremely competitive player in the marketplace.”
Sands added: “As aggressive and smart competitors, the reorganization of our worldwide television distribution operation is simply one way of maximizing the assets in our library and positions us for future growth in the marketplace. Jim Packer has already made significant contributions during his tenure at MGM and we are pleased he will be leading us to even bigger growth opportunities in his new role as president of the group.”
MGM Worldwide Television Distribution Group will handle the international television sales for Casino Royale the new James Bond movie starring Daniel Craig, and Rocky Balboa, the sixth and final Rocky movie starring Sylvester Stallone. In addition, the MGM Worldwide Television Distribution Group will launch a worldwide sales campaign for the following movies from the MGM library: Legally Blonde 3, Cutting Edge 3, Into the Blue 2, WarGames 2 and Species 4.
In addition to its new program offerings, the MGM Worldwide Television Distribution Group will continue to handle distribution of over 4,000 movie titles and 10,000 television series that make up the MGM library. Among the key television properties featured in the MGM catalogue are Stargate SG-1, which just celebrated its record-setting 200th episode on the Sci-Fi Channel, and the drama series The L Word, which airs on Showtime in the U.S.
With the announcement of the MGM Worldwide Television Distribution Group restructuring, MGM has also announced key promotions within the group. Joe Patrick has been promoted to executive vice president, North America. He previously was senior vice president for the studio and is based in Los Angeles. Mary Ann Pasante, who has been the vice president of Latin America sales, has been promoted to senior vice president of Latin America sales and will continue to be based in Atlanta.
Packer, who joined MGM in 2001, initially was executive vice president, domestic TV, and was the architect of several partnerships, including the MGM/UPN “Weekend Movie” and the Pax/MGM “Night at the Movies.”