Spelling’s video unit folded into Paramount

Citing industry consolidation of the video business, Spelling Entertainment Group’s video rental unit has been shuffled to Paramount Home Video, it was announced Thursday.

The move forced the layoff of 23 staffers Thursday at Spelling subsidiary Republic Entertainment. Viacom Inc., which owns Paramount, controls 75% of Spelling’s stock. Spelling officials declined to detail the cutbacks other than to say that Republic prexy and chief exec Robert Sigman as well as all “senior management” will remain with the company.

Shifted dynamically

“The competitive dynamics of the homevideo rental market have shifted dynamically, favoring large studio distributors,” said Sigman.

While the sell-through business of Republic Entertainment remains intact, Par has acquired the distribution rights to seven videos, including “Night Falls on Manhattan,” released theatrically earlier this year, as well as “Night of the Demons III,” “Hostage Train” and “End of Summer.”

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