Paramount Merger of Theatrical, Home Entertainment Marketing Teams Leads to 23 Staff Departures

Paramount Pictures is the latest studio to merge its theatrical and home entertainment marketing teams, a move that has led to the departure of 23 home entertainment marketing and distribution personnel, including marketing chief Vincent Marcais, longtime publicity head Brenda Ciccone, and Dina Marovich, SVP of worldwide media and interactive marketing.

Dina Marovich

Marcais was named EVP of worldwide marketing for the studio’s home entertainment division in March 2018. Ciccone was appointed SVP of worldwide publicity and communications for home entertainment and TV licensing in March 2011, six years after she joined the studio as VP of publicity for Paramount Home Entertainment. Marovich is a 15-year veteran of the studio and was promoted into her present role in 2011.

In a Feb. 26 memo obtained by Media Play News, Jim Gianopulos, chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures, wrote that after an extensive review, “we have concluded that the best path forward for the company is for all home entertainment marketing functions, with the exceptions of brand marketing and customer marketing, to merge into the existing theatrical marketing departments.  As a result of this change, a total of 26 home entertainment marketing roles, including both staff and union positions, will merge into the theatrical marketing teams. Brand and customer marketing will be streamlined and realigned within the existing home entertainment structure.”

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Michele Bell

Michele Bell has been promoted to EVP of worldwide creative services and will report into the theatrical marketing division along with Leda Chang, VP of digital marketing, and Michele Rumain, VP of media.

Three other executives who previously reported to Marcais now report directly to Bob Buchi, president of worldwide home entertainment: Alanna Powers, SVP of new release and catalog brand marketing; Scott Klein, SVP of TV partners brand marketing; and Melinda Froelich, SVP of international marketing.

In addition to the 26 merged home entertainment roles, 23 home entertainment marketing positions are being eliminated, Gianopulos wrote.

“Many of the employees impacted by this restructuring have been part of the home entertainment division for many years,” he wrote in the memo. “Throughout those years, they have shown enormous resilience and adaptability as the marketplace shifted from physical to digital formats.  Particularly, as we’ve faced the unique challenges of the last 12 months, the home entertainment teams have been absolutely instrumental in the continued success of the company, demonstrating incredible dedication, commitment and agility in the face of enormous and unforeseen hurdles. We thank all of those affected by this restructuring for their indelible contributions and wish them continued success in their next chapters.”

Gianopulos wrote that the review was prompted by a changing business, with the objective of “achieving overhead savings, identifying opportunities to leverage centers of excellence, creating greater synergies between the divisions, streamlining processes in response to changing windows, and minimizing duplication of effort.”

Last August, Warner Bros. announced a similar restructuring that by the end of the year had seen the exit of such prominent and longtime executives as Ron Sanders, president of Warner Bros. worldwide theatrical distribution and president of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment; George Feltenstein, SVP of theatrical catalog marketing; Melissa Hufjay, VP of publicity for TV, animation and originals; Rosemary Markson, SVP of TV marketing; and Jay Reinbold, SVP of category management.

In October 2020, Sony Pictures Entertainment said it is combining marketing teams between theatrical, television and home entertainment distribution, leading to a staff reduction of about 35 personnel. Keith Le Goy, president of networks and distribution, and Josh Greenstein, president of the motion picture group, now jointly oversee studio marketing. Lexine Wong, senior EVP of worldwide marketing for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, became head of global multichannel distribution marketing, one of three executives managing Sony’s new U.S. marketing group, along with Paul Noble and Danielle Misher, co-heads of global theatrical marketing. All three report to Greenstein and Le Goy.

Then, in December, at Lionsgate, longtime home entertainment executive Ron Schwartz was promoted to lead worldwide distribution for all content in the company’s motion picture group. The promotion was part of the group restructuring into four verticals under chairman Joe Drake. The verticals are strategy and innovation, marketing, distribution, and content.

“Strengthening our company for the realities of a rapidly shifting marketplace has been priority one,” Drake said in a statement. “That transformation began well before this year, but the pandemic has accelerated these changes and spurred us to adapt and enhance our flexibility.”