Division will continue with slate of straight-to-DVD pix

Longtime home entertainment industry exec Glenn Ross is leaving his post as president of Lions Gate’s Family Home Entertainment unit as the company restructures the division.

The Family Home Entertainment brand and label that was started at Live Entertainment and absorbed by Artisan and later Lions Gate will now be called Lions Gate Family Entertainment.

Dropping of the word “home” reflects the expansion of the unit beyond homevideo to include a broader focus on the acquisition, production and distribution of family theatrical releases and TV programming for the overall company.

Lions Gate Entertainment president Steve Beeks said the company plans to announce specific family theatrical and TV productions in the coming weeks and months. Division will continue to ramp up its slate of straight-to-DVD movies, which had been the primary area of focus of FHE under Ross, the only dedicated FHE staffer.

Marketing exec VP Anne Parducci has been promoted to the newly created position of exec VP in charge of Family Entertainment and marketing. Primary duties involve development, production and acquisitions. The responsibilities of exec VP Ken Katsumoto have been expanded to include Family Entertainment, and director of marketing Michael Rathauser has been promoted to VP, Family Entertainment. In addition to other duties, Katsumoto will report to Parducci and continue to produce animated movies based on Marvel characters and a new animated movie based on the PBS series “Arthur,” among other titles.

All three will work with the existing theatrical and TV departments on the family projects, with Parducci serving as point person. Parducci, a 14-year business development exec at Mattel before moving to Artisan/Lions Gate two years ago, will report to Beeks.

Ross, who has been with Artisan/Lions Gate for seven years, will pursue other opportunities. He was previously senior VP of Hallmark Home Entertainment and Republic Pictures Home Video, working with Beeks at each company.

Beeks said it is “entirely possible” Lions Gate will “continue to be involved” with Ross in his new ventures.

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