Corporate affairs, publicty divisions get new toppers

HOLLYWOOD — New Line Cinema has formed a corporate affairs division and tapped Mary Donovan as executive VP of the new unit.

Taking Donovan’s former post as executive VP publicity and promotions is Christina Kounelias, who will assume responsibility for New Line’s New York and Los Angeles publicity teams.

Both execs will report to Russell Schwartz, New Line’s president of domestic marketing.

“This is part of the evolution of New Line and its place in the AOL/ Time Warner family,” Schwartz told Daily Variety. “This is an important part of the company’s reaching out, both within and outside the company.”

Move marks a double homecoming for Kounelias, who previously spent six years in New Line’s publicity department and worked for Schwartz when he was exec VP at Miramax Films. She most recently served as senior VP of publicity and public relations at Fox Broadcasting Co.

The changes come as New Line prepares to release an ambitious slate that includes “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy; “I Am Sam,” starring Sean Penn and Michelle Pfeiffer; “Life as a House,” starring Kevin Kline; “Bones,” starring Snoop Dogg; “About Schmidt,” starring Jack Nicholson; “Simone,” starring Al Pacino; “Blade 2,” starring Wesley Snipes; and “John Q,” starring Denzel Washington.

Donovan joined New Line in 1989 as director of publicity and was promoted to VP East Coast publicity in 1992 and to senior VP in 1996. As head of the publicity department, Donovan oversaw campaigns for such films as “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me,” which was named PR Campaign of the Year by PR Week magazine.

Kounelias ankled her post as New Line’s senior VP marketing in 1997 to join Fox, where she supervised a 30-person staff that handled all aspects of entertainment and corporate publicity. During her tenure, she launched hit series such as “Malcolm in the Middle,” “Ally McBeal,” “That ’70s Show” and “Dark Angel.”

Prior to joining New Line in 1991, Kounelias spent four years as VP publicity at Miramax in New York.

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