Vuguru bulks up

Eisner's Internet banner hires creative, business execs

Vuguru, the Internet production shingle backed by Michael Eisner’s Tornante and Canada’s Rogers Communications, continues to beef up its exec ranks with the appointment of Miramax production alum Kristin Jones as chief creative officer.

The Beverly Hills-based company has also tapped David Shall, former business affairs exec at FremantleMedia North America and Fox, as head of business operations and general counsel. The hires come a few months after Larry Tanz joined Vuguru as prexy ( Daily Variety , Dec. 14).

Vuguru is in the midst of an ambitious expansion plan to ramp up its production of made-for-Internet programming to as many as 10-15 series a year. The company recently wrapped production on a mystery thriller dubbed “The Booth at the End,” but there’s no word yet on a distribution plan for the skein.

Jones spent five years at Miramax, most recently as senior veep of production, international development and acquisitions. Among the projects she oversaw for the company were “Tsotsi” and “The Queen.” Tanz praised Jones’ “discerning taste and commercial sensibility coupled with great energy and spirit” in announcing the appointment.

Before Miramax, Jones worked as an international film production and acquisitions exec at Disney, and she worked as a film lit tenpercenter at ICM.

Shall was most recently exec veep of business operations and general counsel at Fremantle, and before that he held senior biz posts at Fox’s Twentieth TV and FX Networks.

Eisner’s investment banner launched Vuguru in 2006, and the company first made its mark with the Internet serial “Prom Queen.” Last fall, Canadian telecom firm Rogers Communications took a minority stake in the company ( Daily Variety , Oct. 26).

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