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Goldsmith to ankle Republic position

Republic Pictures Corp. chairman/CEO Russell Goldsmith confirmed that he will leave the company when it completes its merger with Spelling Entertainment Group , expected to close within the next two months.

Goldsmith, who’s been at Republic the last seven years, said he reconsidered accepting the position of president/CEO at the combined Republic and Spelling — which is 70% owned by Blockbuster Entertainment — because of the video marketer’s proposed merger with Viacom Inc.

The exec will continue to have an office at Republic and has agreed to a limited-consultant agreement with Spelling and Blockbuster.

He’ll also remain involved in producing selected projects already in the works at Republic, a prolific supplier of movies and miniseries.

Goldsmith said he’d been enthused about the prospects for a merged Spelling-Republic with the financial backing of Blockbuster, but now that the Blockbuster-Viacom combination has come into the picture, “the very nature of the mission of Republic and Spelling has changed.”

Republic and Spelling entered into a definitive merger agreement last month. Under the terms, Spelling will pay $ 13 in cash for each share of Republic outstanding. Blockbuster owned part of Republic and bought a controlling interest in Spelling in October.

Earlier this month, Blockbuster agreed to an $ 8.4 billion merger with Viacom , in part to back that company’s bid for Paramount.

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