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DeLellis ankles Fox vid arm

After a 13-year run leading the homevideo charge of 20th Century Fox, Bob DeLellis has ankled his prexy post to pursue several business opportunities.

DeLellis has recently formed a non-video, retail-oriented company dubbed D&B New Ventures that he will run with Peter Balner, an exec veep with West Coast Entertainment.

D&B, through its New Concepts arm, will also provide consulting services to Haim Saban and his Saban Entertainment, and CBS Video.

Under DeLellis, Fox’s vid arm has made a number of potent alliances, including recently taking the company direct, allowing it to deal directly with retail instead of the traditional two-step system involving a middleman. He’s also credited with raising the bar on vid releases, such as the highly successful release of “Speed,” which bucked conventional wisdom because it was an R-rated title in an environment of G and the occasional PG-rated pic.

Fox also scored big with “Waiting To Exhale,” despite naysayers who suggested the pic’s target audience was small.

“I’m fond of the ‘we’ word, and we have the best video team in the business, bar none,” DeLellis told Daily Variety, pointing to the re-release of the “Star Wars” pics on homevideo, which were hugely successful, as among his major successes. “But it’s time to do something else and I can still do a lot of things such as build a business.”

Fox’s vid arm also recently beefed up its position in the children’s vidmarket and recently bowed Fox Kids Video, a branded line of vids boasting such classic characters as Dr. Suess, Garfield, Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk, among others.

“Bob has done an incredible job for Fox and has been instrumental in the growth of the (homevideo) division into the billion-dollar powerhouse it is,” said Bill Mechanic, chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment.

DeLellis joined Fox in 1984 as a group veep for CBS/Fox Video and was later elevated to prexy of FoxVideo in 1991. He was named prexy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment in 1995.

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