Cheryl Boone Isaacs has been named president of theatrical marketing for New Line Cinema, it was confirmed Tuesday by Mitchell Goldman, president of marketing and distribution (Daily Variety, May 16).
Isaacs, a 12-year veteran of Paramount Pictures, served most recently as executive VP, worldwide publicity. The move takes effect June 23.
As the first African-American woman to run a studio marketing department, Isaacs will lead New Line’s inhouse creative department. She will also oversee publicity, media buying, co-op advertising, promotions, product placement and research & strategy. Isaacs will report to Goldman.
“She’s exactly what I’m looking for,” Goldman told Daily Variety. “She brings a tremendous amount of creativity and solid management skills. She’s aware of what it takes beyond publicity, and that’s good for us.”
The top marketing presidency has been vacant since December, when Chris Pula went to head up feature marketing for Warner Bros. His exit was the culmination of well-publicized power struggle between Pula and Goldman.
Goldman said he didn’t expect Isaacs to make any additional staff changes in the marketing department.
“Obviously it’s her call,” he said, “but the existing staff are excellent people. It’s a strong recommendation on my part that everyone here has the opportunity to continue doing the excellent job they’ve been doing.”
Earlier this month, Karen Hermelin ankled her post as New Line’s executive VP of marketing. Hermelin, who was second in command under Pula, saw her role significantly reduced under Goldman.
She will remain in Los Angeles and continue consulting for New Line on a project-by-project basis through end of the year, according to a company spokesman.
No successor has been named for Isaacs at Paramount, but Blaise Noto, senior VP, national publicity, and a seven-year Par veteran, is considered by many to be a likely contender for the post.
Paramount vice chairman Rob Friedman, who oversees distribution and marketing, declined to comment on the matter. “I think it would be improper to speculate on who might be Cheryl’s replacement.”
Campaigns are already in place for all upcoming New Line features through the end of the year, according to Goldman. Those pictures include “Spawn,” “Boogie Nights,” “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation” “Money Talks” and “One Night Stand.”
“In terms of creating materials, she has a little reprieve until she gets her feet wet,” Goldman said. “But she’ll be very busy with other facets, including media buys and publicity, for everything from the day she starts.”
Isaacs joined Paramount in 1984 as director, publicity and promotions, West Coast, and over the next decade moved to the top publicity spot. In 1995 and 1996 she orchestrated publicity campaigns for “Forrest Gump” and “Braveheart,” each of which were won multiple Oscars, including best picture.
“I’ve loved working with Cheryl, she’s done a superb job and she’s been a personal friend for 14 years,” said Paramount chairman Sherry Lansing. “As much as I wish she would stay, I can’t deny that this is a tremendous opportunity. We all wish her luck.”
Prior to going to Paramount, Isaacs served as director of advertising and publicity for the Ladd Co. Before that, she spent five years at Melvin Simon Prods., where her last position was VP, worldwide advertising and publicity.
She began her publicity career in 1977 as a publicist for Columbia Pictures.
Isaacs is a member of the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.