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Buffy Shutt, Kathy Jones Leaving Participant Media as Marketing Heads

Buffy Shutt and Kathy Jones are exiting Participant Media after seven years as heads of marketing.

The duo, who began working together in the 1980s, will depart Friday, according to a spokeswoman. Each held the title of exec VP of marketing, and the pair were based at Participant’s headquarters in Beverly Hills.

Participant was founded a decade ago ago by former eBay exec Jeff Skoll with the aim of backing films with a social message. The company’s co-financed “The Help,” “Lincoln,” “Good Night, and Good Luck” and “Syriana” as well as docu “An Inconvenient Truth.” “Lincoln” has been Participant’s top grosser with $275 million worldwide.

Participant’s “The Fifth Estate” performed poorly after it premiered as the opening night film at the Toronto Film Festival last September. The WikiLeaks drama took in only $3.2 million in the U.S. and another $5 million overseas.

Shutt and Jones were hired at Participant in 2007.

They met over two decades ago in the publicity department of Paramount Pictures in New York City and formed their own consulting firm, Shutt-Jones Communications. They went on to hold top marketing slots at Columbia, TriStar and Universal, where they ventured into independent production and produced “Blue Crush” with Imagine.

Participant has not yet replaced Shutt and Jones.

The company launched the cable channel Pivot last August. Its upcoming film titles include “Chavez,” J.C. Chandor’s “A Most Violent Year,” “The 100 Foot Journey” and “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2.”

News was first reported by the THR.com site.

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