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Exec Shuffle

Morgan Creek Prods. has upped production controller Todd Smith to VP, production control. He will oversee labor relations and production aspects on “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” and Dennis Hopper’s “Chasers.”

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Pamela Baron and Kyle Bowser have joined HBO Independent Prods. as director of business affairs and director of creative affairs, respectively. Baron, who leaves the Fox Broadcasting Co. legal department, will be involved in business affairs. Bowser, also from Fox, will serve as a current series exec with development duties.

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Gail Porter has been named VP of marketing and special promotions at Hanson & Schwam Public Relations. Responsibilities will include expanding domestic and international promotions for entertainment clients. Porter is a former publicist for Paramount, Warner Bros. and NBC-TV.

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Beki Probst, director of the Berlin film market since 1988, is stepping down, according to the Internationale Filmfespiele Berlin. Professional and private reasons were cited. Erika de Hadeln, who has been responsible for fest coordination, replaces Probst on an interim basis.

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News Corp. named Joseph W. Cece, president and publisher of TV Guide magazine , to oversee a venture to launch an electronic TV Guide and study other new media properties. He becomes exec veepee of News America Publishing, News Corp.’s U.S. publishing arm. TV Guide On Screen is a joint venture with Liberty Media Corp.

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