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Kopelsons book N.Y. duo

NEW YORK – Laying the groundwork to become a big buyer of books when their five-year exclusive deal at Fox begins in January, producers Arnold and Anne Kopelson have hired two senior Gotham literary scouts to establish a New York outpost. Ruth Pomerance and Jill Kearney, who’ve been senior vice presidents for producer Fred Zollo the past two years, will open the office in January.

The Kopelsons leave behind a batch of go projects at Warner Bros., but will need to gear up quickly at Fox. They’re expected quickly to become one of Gotham’s busiest buyers. “We’re coming in with aggressiveness and eagerness,” Arnold Kopelson said. He and his wife were born in Brooklyn, and are in the process getting a bigger place in town so they can spend more time in the East.

“We are delighted to add Ruth and Jill to our executive ranks, as they have extensive experience in motion picture development and creative affairs,” he said. “Fox is financially committed to have Kopelson Entertainment vigorously compete in the marketplace for quality projects, which will not be limited to the acquisition of novels, but will also encompass the full range of potential underlying works, including theater.”

Kopelson is bringing in two highly regarded execs who, while working for Zollo for the past two years, managed to run that office while raising families. During the last two years, their book finds included “Confessions of an Ivy League Bookie,” a book by Peter Alson that has been adapted by Tom Topor as a possible directing effort for Castle Rock partner Andrew Scheinman; Wilbur Smith’s “Cry Wolf,” which Curtis Hanson (“River Wild”) will write and direct; and “Means of Ascent,” Robert Caro’s chronicle of the rise of Lyndon Johnson, which Chris Gerolmo has adapted.

For the Kopelsons, they will hold the rank of vice presidents of literary acquisitions, reporting to president of production Stephen Brown and president of creative affairs Nana Greenwald.

Pomerance has worked for producers Scott Rudin and Lee Rich, and was story editor for William Morris. She brought the unpublished manuscript of “The Firm” to producer John Davis, and also helped get John Grisham a publishing deal at Doubleday. Kearney is a former West Coast editor of Premiere magazine, who has worked for producers Francis Coppola and Art Linson. She also wrote the children’s book, “A Fishmas Carol.”

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