Jessel Plans

Ian Jessel, who has served as president of Miramax Intl. since 1992, has been in talks about getting into business with Bertelsmann AG. Jessel is leaving Miramax Films at the end of this month (Daily Variety, Jan. 11).

Speculation is that either Bertelsmann would be a major investor in Jessel’s planned production and distribution company or that Jessel would be hired by the German media conglomerate to sell film and TV rights on titles for the company in certain territories. Bertelsmann already distributes in half a dozen European countries.

When Jessel’s exit was announced, sources said he already had European financing for his new company in place. BMG execs were unavailable and Jessel declined comment.

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