In preparation for its first slate of 16 releases from Orion Pictures, Orion Classics and Goldwyn Entertain-ment Co. under the Metromedia Entertainment Group banner, MEG has beefed up its theatrical marketing division with three new hires, marketing exec veepee John Hegeman announced Wednesday.

Michelle Hagen has been tapped VP of national promotions and field operations; Karen Samfilippo is VP of national publicity; and John McCabe is VP, creative advertising.

Calling the three industry vets “a formidable team,” Hegeman said that Hagen and McCabe will handle all theatrical releases from Orion Pictures, Orion Classics and Goldwyn, with Samfilippo spearheading national pub campaigns for Goldwyn releases.

Hagen was previously director of national field operations for Fox Searchlight, working on campaigns for “Stealing Beauty” and “She’s the One,” among other releases. She was also manager of East Coast field operations for MGM/UA.

Samfilippo previously opened the Phoenix office of Solomon Friedman Advertising, where she was director of promotions and publicity, working on campaigns for MGM/UA, Columbia TriStar and Fox Searchlight. Prior to that she worked at PMK and Rogers & Cowan praiseries repping film and TV clients.

McCabe joins MEG from Gramercy Pictures, where he worked on campaigns for “Fargo,” “The Usual Suspects” and “Dead Man Walking.” Prior to Gramercy, McCabe worked in advertising at TriStar Pictures. He will now oversee the creation of all print and audiovisual material for MEG releases.

MEG is owned by John Kluge’s Metromedia Intl. Group.

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