Foley set to exit MGM/UA

In a key indication that the corporate restructuring efforts at MGM/UA are picking up speed, sources said Friday that MGM/UA Distribution Co. prexy Jack Foley would ankle his slot imminently. The studio had no comment.

This comes amid reports that the long-expected year-end exitof MGM/UA marketing and distribution prexy Ashley Boone would also have a likely impact on the office headed by MGM/UA Distribution Co. exec distrib VP Andy Gruenberg.

Studio sources, however, said there was no indication that Gruenberg’s own status would change. MGM/UA senior distrib VP Erik Lomis, who currently functions under Gruenberg, has been mentioned as a candidate for a higher distrib slot at the studio.

Sources said Foley hasn’t been actively involved in daily studio operations for several months, particularly since the departure of former studio topper Alan Ladd Jr. in July.

Foley joined the studio in 1987 as distrib VP after a sales spot with Columbia Pictures in Boston. Previously, he had worked with the DeLaurentiis Entertainment Group. In 1989, Foley became prexy of the MGM/UA Distribution Co.

Among MGM/UA chairman/CEO Frank G. Mancuso’s most pressing mandates are the reorganization of the studio’s marketing and distribution arm before his projects are ready to go.

Rather than clean house with one sweep that might be deemed abrasive, sources said, studio management seems to be making the ankling choices office by office. Meanwhile, the casting calls for the senior distribution slot have heated up for some time.

New Line marketing/distrib prexy Mitch Goldman and Fox exec VP Tom Sherak have been mentioned as candidates for the job, as have Warner Bros. exec distrib VP Daniel R. Fellman. Columbia’s domestic distribution prexy Jeffrey Blake is said to have exited that race recently, reportedly because MGM/UA brass was unable to free him from his contract.

Gerry Rich was recently wooed away from Miramax to MGM/UA, where he will fill the exec marketing VP spot starting Jan. 1.

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