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More Turmoil at Sony: Home Entertainment Chief David Bishop Out (EXCLUSIVE)

Exec to depart in March; no replacement named

In the continuing management upheaval at Sony Pictures Entertainment, David Bishop, the studio’s president of home entertainment, is exiting in March.

Sony decided not to renew Bishop’s contract. The studio has yet to name a replacement.

This follows the recent firings of Sony marketing chief Marc Weinstock and publicity head Steve Elzer as the studio suffered a disappointing summer box office, with such financial flops as “After Earth,” “White House Down” and “Elysium.” The company recently indicated its intent to make fewer pictures and $250 million in overhead cuts and layoffs, in consultation with Bain & Co., to achieve greater financial discipline at the studio.

Sony has had success, however, thanks to adult-skewing releases “American Hustle” and “Captain Phillips,” which is produced by Michael De Luca, a recent hire by the studio to run its production division alongside Hannah Minghella.

If Sony looks to potential internal candidates to succeed Bishop, the studio has several high-ranking home entertainment execs to choose from, including Jim Underwood, Matt Brown and Lexine Wong. Mitch Singer, Sony’s chief technology officer and exec VP of new media and technology, is another possibility.

Consistent with all the studios, Sony has seen flagging results on the home entertainment front as physical discs balance their place in the market with newer digital distribution opportunities. In the company’s latest quarterly earnings report, Sony reported a loss of $181 million, which the studio attributed, in part, to a decline in home entertainment sales.

Bishop, who has been with the studio since 2006, said in a statement: “It’s  been a rewarding run at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and I am extremely proud of the organization and all we have accomplished in an exciting evolving marketplace.”

Michael Lynton, chairman and CEO for Sony Entertainment, commented on Bishop’s departure saying, “During his tenure, David played a tremendous role in building the home entertainment organization we have in place today: an innovative business that can compete aggressively in the evolving digital marketplace.

“We appreciate his many contributions to the company and wish  him well with his future endeavors,” Lynton added.

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