Veteran film publicist Michelle Abbrecht has been given senior VP/publicity stripes at the Columbia Tristar Motion Picture Group, effective next year.
The position was in effect created for Abbrecht, who worked for Sony Pictures Entertainment worldwide marketing prexy Robert Levin when the latter exec headed marketing for the now-defunct Savoy Pictures. (Abbrecht was senior VP/publicity while working for Levin there.)
There had been no senior VP-level position in Columbia TriStar’s publicity machine before Abbrecht’s arrival. Department head Ed Russell bears exec VP/publicity, promotion & field operations stripes, and there are two VPs below him (and now, below Abbrecht as well), one per studio: Dennis Higgins for Columbia, Susan Levin for TriStar.
Abbrecht had taken something of a busman’s holiday for the past two years, working as head of special marketing for New York megapublisher Random House’s Trade Group. She initiated it’s successful “Random House Literary Breakfast” series and brought a healthy dose of Hollywood-style event-mongering to Random House’s marketing campaigns.
Before her four years as senior VP/publicity at Savoy, Abbrecht was veep/publicity at the Samuel Goldwyn Co., where she worked on such Oscar-nominated fare as “The Madness of King George,” “Eat Drink Man Woman” and “The Wedding Banquet.” She began her publicity career at Goldwyn in 1987.