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Par bows licensing unit with Hein at helm

Paramount Communications has set up a new business unit to oversee all licensing and merchandising activities throughout the company’s sprawling entertainment operations.

Andrea Hein, senior VP of licensing of Paramount’s Motion Picture Group, has been named president of Paramount Licensing Group and a corporate veepee.

Hein, a 3 1/2-year Par veteran, will continue to be based at the Hollywood studio. She reports to Paramount president Stanley Jaffe, said to be the force behind the creation of Paramount Licensing.

Par is the latest studio to try to make the most of its enormous entertainment assets–encompassing publishing, movies, TV, a sports arena, and recently, theme parks — through cross-promotion throughout the various divisions.

While it already does an extensive amount of cross-marketing in this manner, the company believes it will be able to identify many more opportunities with one person overseeing it all.

Just a few days ago, Sony Software said it had formed a similar division to coordinate all merchandising and licensing activities across the company’s various arms (Daily Variety, Dec. 15).

Paramount Licensing will be organized with a sales wing responsible for domestic and international sales, a merchandising arm for product development and retailing and a business development division for identifying and evaluation of business opportunities. Exec appointments are forthcoming.

Paramount has a wealth of properties that it has licensed and merchandised extensively, with more on the way. “Star Trek,” for example, has been a Par powerhouse with applications in publishing, apparel, toys and other product categories.

This year, when Par’s recently acquired theme parks re-open from winter hiatus, park visitors will be able to buy Star Trek merchandise in special boutiques at the parks, while costumed characters inspired by the show will mingle with park guests.

And next year, shopping mall arcades will bow centered on a virtual reality game based on TV’s “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (Daily Variety, Sept. 25), part of a licensing deal with Edison Brothers Entertainment. The arcades will include a retail shop and restaurant.

In a statement, Paramount chairman and chief exec Martin Davis said the company “possesses a wealth of proprietary copyrights and trademarks that can be leveraged to build the value of our asset base and to create new revenue streams.”

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