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Fox’s Mechanic nails down Gelfan

In his first major hire since becoming 20th Century Fox film division prexy in September, Bill Mechanic has lured Greg Gelfan away from Paramount to oversee the studio’s business and legal affairs departments.

Gelfan, whose title will be executive veepee, business and legal affairs, moves to the Fox lot after more than 10 years at Paramount.

He started at Paramount in 1983as a director of business affairs and was promoted to the head of the department five years later.

He first met Mechanic more than nine years ago while they were both at Paramount. At the time, Me-chanic was working in Paramount’s pay TV division. Mechanic later moved to Disney.

Since then, the two executives reportedly were not in close touch until recently, when Mechanic began recruiting for this new position.

“Greg and I have known each other since we worked together during our formative years at Paramount, and I have long been impressed with his abilities as an effective lawyer, negotiator and manager,” Mechanic said, in a prepared release. “I am excited to bring Greg in to this new position of overseeing all of the company’s business and legal activities as we move to design a system better suited to accommodate increased production.”

Before his employment at Paramount, Gelfan was an entertainment attorney — first with Kaplan, Livingston, Goodwin, Berkowitz & Selvin, then with Weissman, Wolff, Bergman, Coleman & Schulman.

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