Oscar’s new honcho

Acad board taps Ganis to steer org

For the first time in four years, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has a new prexy, with Sid Ganis elected to the post at Tuesday night’s board meeting.

Ganis, who is beginning his 19th year as a governor representing the public relations branch, was most recently the Academy’s first veepee.

Robert Rehme, an executive branch governor and past Academy prexy, was elected first vice president.

Voted in as vice prexies were Tom Hanks (actors branch) and Arthur Hamilton (music). The post marks Hanks’ first stint as an Academy officer.

Donald C. Rogers (sound) is treasurer; Kathy Bates (actors) was elected secretary. Both have served a variety of officer positions in prior years.

On Wednesday, Ganis said the role of president is partly a PR job: “I want to make it clear to the rank and file — and to the world — that it’s an awful lot more than a TV show.

“The Academy these days is a vast operation, with lots of pieces to it and there will be a lot of heavy work to do,” he said, citing such concerns as membership, changing technology and the planned Academy museum.

Only 21 hours after his election, Ganis jumped right into his duties, presiding over a ceremony at the Margaret Herrick Library to honor former Daily Variety box office analyst A.D. Murphy, who left his entire estate — a half-million dollars — to the Academy Foundation as well as his papers.

It will be labeled the A.D. Murphy Trade Paper Archives.

Ganis served in various capacities at Sony, including Columbia/TriStar prexy of worldwide marketing, where he developed campaigns for “A Few Good Men” and “A League of Their Own,” among others. He founded Columbia-based Out of the Blue Entertainment in 1996. The company is in pre-production on a bigscreen version of TV’s “I Dream of Jeannie” and is in post-production on “Akeelah and the Bee,” starring Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne.

Prior to Sony, Ganis spent five years at Paramount Pictures as president of the motion picture group.

Outgoing AMPAS prexy Frank Pierson was ineligible for reelection, after serving four consecutive terms. Under Academy bylaws, officers serve one-year terms, with a maximum of four consecutive terms in any office. Pierson will continue to serve as immediate past prez, an officer slot.

(Timothy M. Gray contributed to this report.)

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