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Focus Features Layoffs Have Begun

Some of the 103 employees at Focus Features have begun receiving pinkslips, three weeks after Universal fired CEO James Schamus.

No exact numbers were available, but many of the layoffs are coming at Focus’ New York operation, which employs 44 people and is being downsized significantly. Some of the pinkslips are being handed out to employees who will stay on board during the company’s transition through the end of the year as it absorbs FilmDistrict’s operations.

Focus also employs 43 staffers in Los Angeles — the new headquarters for the company — and another 17 in London, where its Focus International operation is based. Universal has not yet decided whether to close down its international business, which handles sales and production.

Focus co-ceo Andrew Karpen departed on Oct. 15. He offered the opportunity to stay with the company but chose not to relocate from New York to Los Angeles.

The Focus restructuring, also announced Oct.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Schlessel unveils executive team

  • ScreenDaily
Incoming Focus Features CEO Peter Schlessel has announced his core team in the wake of the company’s merger with FilmDistrict as it emerged that senior executives Andrew Karpen, David Brooks and Jack Foley will be leaving the new set-up.

Current Focus Co-ceo Andrew Karpen was asked to relocate to Los Angeles but declined in order to keep his family in New York.

Karpen will remain in in his current role during the transition period, as will president of marketing David Brooks and president of distribution Jack Foley before they move on.

FilmDistrict COO Adrian Alperovich and president of marketing Christine Birch transition into the same respective roles at the new-look Focus, while FilmDistrict’s Jim Orr will head distribution and Lia Buman moves over to become president of acquisitions.

Current Focus Features president of publicity and evp of marketing Adriene Bowles will retain her current title and responsibilities, as will production president Jeb Brody.

Former [link=co
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Schlessel unveils exec team

  • ScreenDaily
Incoming Focus Features CEO Peter Schlessel has announced his core team in the wake of the company’s merger with FilmDistrict as it emerged that senior executives Andrew Karpen, David Brooks and Jack Foley will be leaving the new set-up.

Current Focus Co-ceo Andrew Karpen was asked to relocate to Los Angeles but declined in order to keep his family in New York.

Karpen will remain in in his current role during the transition period, as will president of marketing David Brooks and president of distribution Jack Foley before they move on.

FilmDistrict COO Adrian Alperovich and president of marketing Christine Birch transition into the same respective roles at the new-look Focus, while FilmDistrict’s Jim Orr will head distribution and Lia Buman moves over to become president of acquisitions.

Current Focus Features president of publicity and evp of marketing Adriene Bowles will retain her current title and responsibilities, as will production president Jeb Brody.

Former [link=co
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Focus Features Brings in Majority of FilmDistrict Team Post Shake-Up

In the wake of the Focus Features shake-up two weeks ago, Comcast-owned parent studio Universal Pictures announced the new leadership of its top-ranking executives. Not among the new roster is Focus co-ceo Andrew Karpen, who was offered to stay with the company but chose not to re-locate from New York to Los Angeles, where the company will now be headquartered.

Universal has yet to determine how many of the 44 people employed at the New York office will lose their job. It is believed they will stay on board through the company’s transition through the end of the year, according to sources close to the situation.

The Focus re-structuring, which was announced Tuesday, brings in the majority of the team from FilmDistrict, which was absorbed into the former company, with chief Peter Schlessel replacing former Focus CEO James Schamus.

“I am pleased to announce the executive management team that will
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Everything You Need To Know About The Uva Scandal In < 700 Words

University of Virginia, the university founded by Thomas Jefferson, capped a two-week long scandal on Tuesday when its board members voted unanimously to reinstate President Teresa Sullivan, whom they themselves had ousted two weeks prior.

Background, via Jamelle Bouie, a Uva grad:

Helen Dragas, rector of the University’s Board of Visitors—what most states call a Board of Regents—explained the situation with a brief statement, "The Board believes that in the rapidly changing and highly pressurized external environment in both health care and in academia, the University needs to remain at the forefront of change." Of course, this explained nothing about the decision to remove Sullivan, who by all accounts was succeeding as president of the university. Questions about her dismissal turned to outrage when it was revealed that Dragas had pushed this under the cover of darkness, with little deliberation, false pretenses, and the exclusion of other board members.
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