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Twentieth Century Fox ups Panitch

He grows into exec vp, prod'n slot

Twentieth Century Fox has promoted Sanford Panitch to executive vice president of production.

Panitch continues to report to Fox president Tom Rothman, who announced the promotion Thursday.

Panitch, who was hired in 1995 as senior VP, worked as a production exec on James Cameron’s “Titanic” and he currently is overseeing Fox’s summer release “Doctor Dolittle,” starring Eddie Murphy and helmed by Betty Thomas.

He also is supervising Ed Zwick’s “Martial Law,” starring Denzel Washington, Annette Bening and Bruce Willis, now in production in New York; “Office Space,” the first live-action feature from “King of the Hill” creator Mike Judge; and the upcoming thriller “Squelch,” written and directed by J.J. Abrams.

Panitch also serves as the primary exec for Cameron’s Lightstorm and Kopelson Entertainment accounts.

He fills the exec VP slot left open after the departure of Jorge Saralegui in December. With the promotion, Panitch joins Elizabeth Gabler — who last month reupped for three more years with the studio — as the highest-ranking 20th Century Fox production execs under Rothman.

He joined Fox from Arnold Kopelson Prods., where he worked from 1991-95, rising from development director to exec veepee. During that time he helped develop such releases as “Outbreak,” “Seven,” “The Fugitive” and “Eraser.” With their history together, Panitch is credited with aiding Kopelson’s move from the Warner Bros. lot to Fox’s Culver City compound.

The Tulane grad began his career at New Line Cinemas before moving on to work for producer Gale Anne Hurd from 1989-91 at Pacific Western Prods.

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