Russell is tapped biz VP at SPE

Robin Russell has been inked to the post of veepee of corporate business affairs for Sony Pictures Entertainment, sources confirmed yesterday.

A veteran entertainment attorney, Russell was the first andonly head of business affairs for InterTalent Agency — a post she held since October 1990. She was also partner and chief financial officer for InterTalent, prior to the firm’s dissolution in 1992.

In the Sony gig, Russell becomes one of few business affairs executives in the movie industry to be employed at the corporate level. One of Russell’s primary duties will be to negotiate and finalize deals that cross over from movies and TV and forge into Sony’s New Technologies Group, the New York-based unit responsible for new media software and delivery systems.

Russell reports to Sony Filmed Entertainment Group president and chief operating officer Alan Levine, who said Russell’s job is “not just television, not just music, not just movies, it’s everything.”

Russell’s credentials include more than two years as senior attorney forParamount Pictures motion picture division — a position she left for a veepee of legal affairs post at Walt Disney Pictures after Michael Eisner, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Rich Frank defected from Paramount to Walt Disney Co.

Over six years at Disney, Russell became senior veepee of business and legal affairs for Walt Disney Pictures and Touchstone Pictures. On the music side, Russell worked as a litigator for the law firm Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown.

Russell joined Sony because the company offered her a position that will allow her to participate in the integration of actors, directors, producers and screenwriters into the emerging new media and technology markets, she said. She said Sony’s “wild enthusiasm” for new ideas and new businesses has already been demonstrated throughout the company ranks.

“I hope and believe it is a mutual desire (between studios and talent) to integrate talent into this new side of the business,” Russell said.

A former colleague at InterTalent said Russell’s forte is “synergizing” departments and people. “She’ll be excellent at what she has been hired to do,” he said.

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