Weinstein Company Announces Promotions to Replace Departed Executives


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Jason Janego, center, a co-president of Radius-TWC, is leaving the company. He is shown with Norman Lear, left, and Nick Kroll.

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Todd Williamson/Invision for RADiUS-TWC, via Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Next year, the Weinstein Company is expected to release a comic film caper called “Army of One.”

For a while, that looked like the indie studio’s new motto.

In an omnibus round of corporate appointments, Harvey Weinstein on Thursday evening said he was promoting more than a half-dozen executives at his namesake company, replacing managers who suddenly left in recent days and months.

Mr. Weinstein also said he and his brother, Bob, both of whom are co-chairmen of the company, were interviewing at least three candidates to replace David Glasser, the company’s president and chief operating officer. Mr. Glasser said this week that he would leave his post in November.

The sudden wave of departures, which included Jason Janego and Tom Quinn, co-presidents of the Radius-TWC unit, raised eyebrows in an entertainment industry that was jolted only last week by the bankruptcy of another ambitious independent company, Relativity Media.

Mr. Weinstein, however, said the staffing crisis was more apparent than real. In a phone interview on Thursday evening, he said the turnover was consistent with past experience at his rough-and-tumble company, which has been known more for the number of its alumni — dozens of film and television executives spent time at Weinstein and the brothers’ earlier studio, Miramax — than for managerial stability.

“We have such a strong bench,” said Mr. Weinstein, describing a situation in which promotions would fill vacant jobs and might help to stave off further departures.

Those who had left included Weinstein’s marketing president, Stephen Bruno; its television president, Meryl Poster; the film production and acquisitions president, Dylan Sellers; and, in 2013, its president of international operations, Michael Rothstein.

Mr. Weinstein said the new appointments included Francois Martin, who would become president of global marketing, and Ryan Brasno, who would join Mr. Martin in overseeing aspects of the studio’s marketing division, which has released several major films with no top marketing officer in place.

“The last time I checked, my brother and I had decent marketing credentials,” Mr. Weinstein said of a period during which the brothers directly oversaw the marketing of “The Imitation Game,” “Woman in Gold,” “Southpaw” and “Paddington.”

On Thursday, Mr. Weinstein described the executive exodus, and especially the departure of Mr. Glasser, as a serious personal loss: “This is very sentimental for me right now, very emotional,” he said.

But he also insisted his company remained in strong financial shape, and that neither its television expansion plans nor its usual aggressive approach to the fall film awards season would be hampered by the upheaval.

“The irony of all these changes is that the company is in its best place financially,” Mr. Weinstein added.

Mr. Weinstein spoke at length about the achievements of the Radius co-presidents, Mr. Janego and Mr. Quinn, who, he confirmed, were leaving to form their own film distribution company.

Radius, he said, would continue to exist. As for Mr. Janego and Mr. Quinn, who made their mark by winning back-to-back Oscars for best feature documentary, with “Citizenfour” and “20 Feet From Stardom,” Mr. Weinstein described them as fiercely independent executives who had tested his penchant for micromanagement, and, sometimes, political meddling.

“They were convinced I would do everything in my power to stop them” from releasing “Citizenfour,” a documentary about Edward Snowden that was severely critical of President Obama, whom Mr. Weinstein considers a friend.

Mr. Weinstein said he took grief from his “political friends” for releasing the documentary, but had allowed Mr. Janego and Mr. Quinn free rein, and now hoped to become allied with their new company. Mr. Janego and Mr. Quinn did not respond to queries.

While challenging any notion that the executive exits signaled financial weakness, Mr. Weinstein declined to discuss any prospect for the revival of a sale of his company’s television assets to ITV Studios. The sale had been expected to bring as much as $950 million to the Weinstein Company, but a proposed deal fell apart after it was disclosed in April.

Since then, the Allen & Company investment banking firm has continued to look for a transaction that would bolster the Weinstein Company’s fortunes, though Mr. Weinstein said the company was proceeding with plans to produce a large group of television programs.

Weinstein will also release awards contenders like Todd Haynes’s “Carol,” a lesbian romance, which was well received at the Cannes Film Festival this year, and Quentin Tarantino’s coming bounty hunter drama “The Hateful Eight.” That film, set for release on Christmas Day, is perhaps the company’s best hope for a movie blockbuster in the coming months.

In other appointments, Mr. Weinstein said Erik Lomis would oversee film distribution, while Robert Walak would take charge of television acquisitions. Jamie Schwartz would supervise international marketing, and Dan Guando and Negeen Yazdi would take expanded roles in film acquisition and production, Mr. Weinstein said.

During his seven years with the studio, Mr. Glasser had become known for his frenetic efforts to expand television operations and capital resources, while playing the diplomat with industry contacts who were sometimes upset by the occasionally abrasive Weinstein brothers.

In leaving, Mr. Glasser publicly said he wished the Weinsteins well, but planned to explore new opportunities. On Thursday, Mr. Glasser joined the call with Mr. Weinstein, but did not comment directly.

In an emotional outpouring, Mr. Weinstein described his newly promoted executives as the latest among dozens who had survived what he called the “boot camp” of his tutelage, and would be around long after his eventual retirement.

“When I’m in the motion picture home, now I’ll have another crop,” he said.



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