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‘Maxing an exit strategy

Employees in limbo as Weinsteins, Disney continue working together

The Miramax exodus seems to be on hold … for now.

It was expected that when talks between Bob and Harvey Weinstein and the Walt Disney Co. wrapped up, the brothers would be turned loose, along with their remaining 300 or so employees.

Some staffers — including Dimension co-prexy Brad Weston — had even lined up jobs before the Miramax-Mouse House deal was done, and were waiting only to put their John Hancocks on contracts at other studios.

But now that the Weinsteins and Disney are chummily working together on a slew of pics, Miramax employees are being told the party’s far from over.

Staffers continue to report to the Weinsteins, with many being put to work on films co-financed by Disney that will be released by the Weinstein Co.

Like Dimension, Miramax’s production ranks are expected to slim down.

While co-prexy Meryl Poster‘s contract is expiring this spring, fellow co-prexy Jon Gordon‘s name has been circulating as a possible hire over at Universal, where vice chairs of worldwide production Mary Parent and Scott Stuber just ankled.

Weston — who, like co-prexy Andrew Rona, hasn’t been working in Miramax’s offices for weeks — has been expected to ink a deal to become Paramount production co-prexy.

But Weston is being held to his Miramax contract. While waiting in the wings, Rona has been in talks with Focus Features’ genre division Rogue.

Many employees are talking to their attorneys about whether their contracts remain valid after the Disney deal closed.

Even some who negotiated the Disney deal are finding themselves in limbo. Exec VP biz and legal affairs Andrew Gumpert may have already struck a pact to go to Sony starting this week.

Others eyeing exits include Ross Landsbaum, exec VP of finance and operations and chief financial officer; and Charles Layton, exec VP, office of the co-chairman.

Senior PR exec Cynthia Swartz is eyeing a move to join Leslie Dart‘s new firm; senior VP of corporate communications & government relations Matthew Hiltzik has been weighing various offers; exec VP of worldwide PR Amanda Lundberg is on maternity leave.

Even those considered part of the Weinsteins’ inner circle — including acquisitions whiz Agnes Mentre, creative affairs VP Erica Steinberg and senior exec Frank Rainone — are eyeing other opportunities.

But the question remains whether they can do so under their current Disney deals.

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