Former Orion Home Video senior VP Gene Silverman has been appointed president/CEO of New York-based Polygram Video.

As previously reported, the company’s first title to ride out in the rental market will be Gramercy Pictures’ debut feature “Posse” in October (Daily Variety, April 30).

‘Major’ homevideo supplier

“I want to turn Polygram into a major homevideo supplier, with the emphasis on ‘major,’ ” Silverman told Daily Variety. “We’re now aggressively producing theatrical product that’s going to flow through our video label.”

Silverman will be at Video Software Dealers Assn. conflab in Las Vegas with trailers from “Posse.”

“With that title, Polygram will be off and running to become a major supplier for both rental and sell-through because we’ve only scratched the surface in sell-through as well,” said Silverman, who was directly involved with the rental market sales campaigns at Orion for both “Dances With Wolves” and “Silence of the Lambs.”

Prior to his five-year stint at that studio, Silverman was founder and prexy/CEO of Video Trend Inc., a distributor in the homevid industry from ’79 to ’87.

He began his career in the music industry as the founder, prexy/CEO of Merit Music Distributors and Music Trend, both of which distributed product from labels including A&M and Motown.

‘Perfect fit’

“Gene’s vast experience in the homevideo and music industries makes him a perfect fit with Polygram Video in the United States,” said Stewart Till, prexy of Intl. Polygram Filmed Entertainment.

Silverman reports directly to Till and operationally to Jim Caparro, prexy of Polygram Group Distribution.

“My responsbility is to run the video company here in the U.S., which is a pretty signifincant set of responsiblities because we’re so diverse,” Silverman said.

“Very few companies have the variety of genres and product categories that Polygram has to offer,” which include music, sports, children’s and exercise product.

“The one element we were missing up until now was the theatrical product,” Silverman said.

“Now that we have that, we can say Polygram is ready to emerge as a complete major studio.”

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