Lions Gate taps prez

Vid exec Beeks draws more duties at indie

Veteran video exec Steve Beeks has been named president of Lions Gate Entertainment, where he will join CEO Jon Feltheimer and vice chairman Michael Burns as part of the indie’s senior decision-making team.

Beeks will continue to oversee all home entertainment operations but will broaden his responsibilities to include oversight of business and legal affairs, human resources and post-production. He reports to Feltheimer.

Move underscores the importance of home entertainment to the company following its merger with Artisan Entertainment last December.

Beeks was president of Artisan Home Entertainment since 1998. In that post, he grew division revenues to $300 million from $115 million during his five-year tenure.

Lions Gate told analysts recently that it expects home entertainment revenues to reach $380 million in fiscal 2005 (beginning April 1), including $200 million generated by the combined companies’ 8,000 title library, accounting for almost two-thirds of overall corporate revenue of $650 million.

“I’ve been doing video for a long time, and I look forward to contributing to the management of the business at a different level,” Beeks said.

“At Artisan, Steve demonstrated that he can grow a business with efficiency, innovation and profitability. We look forward to his use of those proven skills in our continued corporate growth,” Feltheimer added.

Also at Lions Gate, exec VP of business and legal affairs and general counsel Wayne Levin adds responsibility for corporate operations. He will report to Beeks on corporate ops issues and to Feltheimer as general counsel.

Before joining Artisan, Beeks started Hallmark Home Entertainment in 1994. He was also president of home entertainment for Republic Pictures.

(Marcy Magiera is editor of Variety sister publication Video Business.)

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