Studios USA has made several VP-level appointments in production and business/legal affairs departments.
Restructuring its network and first-run business and legal affairs departments, Studios USA has named Scottye Hedstrom, David Karnes and Kerry Samovar vice presidents.
Additionally, Madeleine McBride has been promoted to VP of production finance and administration. She’ll continue to oversee production accounting operations for original made-for-cable movies, miniseries and television series distributed by Studios USA Pictures.
Allison Brightman and Patricia Cannon have been appointed attorneys.
Joining the company as VP, business affairs, Hedstrom will oversee business affairs activities related to network and firstrun dramatic programming. Previously, Hedstrom held a number of posts during a lengthy tenure at Walt Disney Television, moving up to VP of network television business affairs in October 1991.
Karnes, who has been promoted to VP and department head of legal affairs for Studio USA, joined the network television division (previously Universal Television) in 1995 as an attorney. He has been involved with a variety of legal work for the division, including network license and co-venture agreements, literary purchases, legal clearances and management of outside litigation.
Before joining Universal, Karnes was an attorney at the Beverly Hills law firm of Rosenfeld, Meyer & Susman from 1987-95, where he represented most of the major studios.
Samovar has been promoted to VP of business and legal affairs, overseeing all development, production, talent and staffing of Studio USA’s first-run talk and reality programming.
Samovar joined the Universal Home Entertainment Group in 1995 as an attorney and was promoted in 1997 to director, business and legal affairs. Prior to joining U, he was an associate at the law firm Latham & Watkins from 1993-95, where he represented DirecTV.
At her new post as attorney, Brightman will focus on legal negotiations for network and firstrun drama. Most recently, she was a senior partner with the law firm Brightman & Levin from 1994-98.
Also signing on as an attorney for Studios USA, Cannon will focus on litigation management and general legal production issues. Previously, she served as a deputy alternate public defender from 1994-97 for L.A. County and began her legal career in 1990 as a public defender.
McBride, who reports to Angela Mancuso, senior VP of production, joined Studios USA Pictures’ predecessor company Universal Television Entertainment from HBO, where she served as manager of production accounting.