ERIC NEWMAN has been named VP of creative affairs for Tom Jacobson’s Disney-based production company. The company has a four-year deal with the studio.

Newman had been an executive at Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Pictures, where he served as associate producer on the upcoming Paramount Pictures comedy “Black Sheep.” Prior to that, he worked in a junior executive role on “Saturday Night Live” during the 1993-94 TV season.

He will be responsible for acquiring, developing and supervising all feature projects for company principal Jacobson, who moved to Disney from his post as president of production at 20th Century Fox.

Jacobson has also hired LESLIE HOLLAND as a creative executive. She previously served as an assistant to Creative Artists Agency’s David Lonner.

Veteran distribution and marketing exec ROBERT M. CHEREN has been named president and chief executive officer of L.A.-based independent theatrical distributor Theafilm.

Cheren was president of Orion Pictures Distribution in the mid-1980s, overseeing the distribution of Oscar-winners “Platoon” and “Amadeus.”

He later became marketing and distribution prexy for New World Entertainment and went on to co-found the short-lived Studio Three distribbery with former NWE exec Jonathan A. Wolf.

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