Prexy and CEO to segue into producer role
Four years after joining CBS Films, Amy Baer is ankling her post as president and CEO, and plans to segue into a producer role.Her departure corresponds with the end of her contract, which concludes at the end of October. CBS topper Leslie Moonves, who created CBS Films as a home for mid-budget mainstream titles, confirmed the departure via a statement issued Thursday. “We thank Amy for her important role in building CBS Films,” he said. “Going forward, we remain fully committed to the division’s focus on a targeted slate of smart acquisitions and quality homegrown productions in all genres.” CBS did not indicate who will succeed Baer. A CBS Films insider indicated Thursday that the current top execs are expected to remain in place, including chief operating officer Wolfgang Hammer, VP of acquisitions Scott Shooman and distribution topper Steven Friedlander. Additionally, the basic aim of CBS Films — filling the gap left by the majors for moderately priced titles with wide appeal — isn’t expected to change. The company plans to release about six pics a year with about half being produced internally and half being acquisitions. Baer’s first role as a producer will be on CBS Films’ comedy “Last Vegas,” with Jon Turteltaub directing. CBS Films made the largest acquisition at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival earlier this month with a $5 million deal for Lasse Hallstrom’s “Salmon Fishing In The Yemen.” The company is also working on horror thriller “7500,” which will launch production next month with Takashi Shimizu (”The Grudge”) directing. It’s developing “Hellfest,” with Gale Anne Hurd producing, and spy thriller “American Assassin” with Edward Zwick directing an adaptation of the Vince Flynn novel about counterterrorism agent Mitch Rapp. CBS Films’ first released “Extraordinary Measures,” which performed poorly, followed by “The Back-Up Plan,” “Faster,” “Beastly” and “The Mechanic.” It also acquired a reboot of “Gambit” and “Woman in Black,” due out Feb. 3. Baer took the CBS Films job after serving as one of Sony’s longest-serving executives, rising to exec VP in 1998. During her time at Sony, she oversaw production on “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” “The Mask of Zorro,” “SWAT,” “Something’s Gotta Give” and “The Pursuit of Happyness.” Baer worked at TriStar Pictures from 1992-97. She was also director of development at Guber-Peters Entertainment Co., where she helped develop “Jumanji” and “Single White Female” and began her career at CAA in 1988 as an assistant to the late Jay Moloney.