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Johnson to Rysher

Oscarcast CPA exits Price for CFO post

Former Price Waterhouse partner Franklin R. Johnson, best known for his annual appearances on the Academy Awards show, has joined Rysher Entertainment as chief financial officer.

In his new position, Johnson is responsible for all of Rysher’s domestic and international financial operations. He is based at the company’s L.A. headquarters and reports directly to CEO Tim Helfet.

Johnson replaces Randy Stargel, who now returns to Rysher’s corporate parent, Atlanta-based Cox Broadcasting, where he will play a role in the company’s radio activities.

In his more than three decades at Price Waterhouse, Johnson has provided financial and business consulting services to studios, independent producers and distributors, and industry organizations.

“He’s just a very experienced financial executive and a seasoned manager whose input is welcomed by anyone in the entertainment business,” Helfet said. “I will look to him for his viewpoint on creative, marketing and distribution decisions, as well as on financial ones.”

Rysher has undergone a number of changes recently. Last month, founder and former CEO Keith Samples ankled the company; earlier this year Rysher announced it was scaling back its motion picture production activities.

For the past 21 years, Johnson has had responsibility for Price Waterhouse’s services to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, including supervision of the balloting and regular Oscarcast walk-ons.

He joined the accounting firm in 1961, while earning his MBA from UCLA, and was made partner in 1972. In 1985 he became managing partner of the entertainment, media and communications practice group for the firm’s Western Region.

Johnson recently turned 60, the mandatory retirement age at the financial consulting giant.

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