Pariah gains chief operating officer

New exex report to TV, film co-heads

Gavin Polone’s Pariah production company continues to boost its staff, adding three execs to the fold.

Former Paramount exec Jake Jacobson has joined the shingle as its first chief operating officer, while Dan Kaplow has hopped aboard as vice president of physical production and Karen Meisels will be a casting consultant.

All three execs will report to Vivian Cannon and Jessika Borsiczky, who co-head Pariah’s TV and film production.

Borsiczky and Cannon stressed that Pariah is still a small company but required additional eyes and ears to handle its growing roster of projects, both for the small and large screens.

“It gives us so much more mobility and ability to have our own business affairs and physical production in motion,” Borsiczky said. “This allows us to do more and better things.”

Jacobson spent more than 20 years at Paramount, working his way up to the role of exec VP in charge of business affairs at Paramount Network Television. While there, he oversaw major negotiations such as “Frasier’s” renewals at NBC and the move of “JAG” from NBC to CBS. He also spent time at the studio’s homevideo, firstrun syndication and TV distribution divisions.

Kaplow’s credits include producing “Arliss” for HBO and “Family Affair” (which was exec produced by Polone) for the WB; he also was an HBO exec and has produced indie films such as “Almost Hollywood.”

Meisels will serve as a consultant for Pariah on a nonexclusive basis, which allows her to continue as an independent casting director. She has cast indie films such as “29 Palms” (Michael Rapaport and Rachael Leigh Cook), “Simpatico” (Albert Finney, Sharon Stone and Nick Nolte) and “Searching for Paradise” (Chris Noth and Jeremy Davies).

“Jake, Dan and Karen are each so accomplished and well-respected in their fields,” Cannon said. “We’re lucky to have them involved in the future of Pariah.”

Pariah is working on pics including the David Koepp-helmed Johnny Depp starrer “Secret Window,” in pre-production.

On the TV side, company is producing upcoming Fox comedy/talkshow hybrid “The Ortegas.”

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