Columbia Pictures confirmed that it has not renewed the contract of Western division manager Allen Elrod, who ankled his post at the studio yesterday.

A three-year Colpix veteran, Elrod’s contract was set to expire March 4.

He is the latest in a string of executive changes in the studio’s distribution ranks, as distribution president Jeff Blake installs a new team. In May, Blake replaced former Columbia distribution president James R. Spitz.

Elrod was one of two executives to follow Spitz over from 21st Century Films in 1990.

The other was Dan Marks, who has since been switched to the post of VP/general sales manager for Triumph Releasing, a specialized distribution arm of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Elrod was responsible for selling Columbia movies to exhibitors in such key markets as Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.

Columbia will be under the gun to fill Elrod’s post before such summer product as “The Last Action Hero” and “In the Line of Fire” goes to market, but studio sources indicated that replacements are being interviewed and a successor will be named posthaste.

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