Steve Nickerson to preside over new division

Summit Entertainment has established a homevid arm headed by Warner’s former high-def guru.

Steve Nickerson has been tapped prexy of Summit’s new division, with fellow Warner homevid exec Bobby Gerber to serve as exec VP and general sales manager. They are the latest major studio execs to join Summit as it transforms into a full-service studio.

Nickerson will develop the studio’s new-media strategy with Alex Fragen, Summit prexy of domestic TV distribution, and work closely with Universal Studios Home Entertainment on physical distribution of discs. Under its homevid distribution deal with U, Summit retains control over sales, marketing and replication for its home entertainment product.

Nickerson, who brings vast consumer electronics experience to the post, said the division will grow in phases as Summit builds its release pipeline. Summit will self-distribute its first theatrical pic, “P2,” in November, with a homevid release to follow at a date to be determined.

The chance to build a division from scratch was a big part of the allure for Nickerson, who anticipates it will take 18-24 months before the division’s fully staffed up.

“After eight years at Warners and a lot of years in the (consumer electronics) business before that, the time was right to take the experience I have to Summit to help build something,” Nickerson said.

He joined Warners in 2000 and was most recently senior VP of worldwide high-definition media for the studio. Gerber worked with Nickerson at Toshiba and Warner, joining the studio, where producer brother Bill once headed theatrical production, in 1997. Most recently he was senior VP of field sales for Warner homevid.

Nickerson said he expects to spend much of his time on emerging technologies as Summit looks for ways to maximize coin on the pics in its pipeline. Unlike the majors, Summit does not have an extensive library to fall back on.

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