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Prexies filling up Grey area

Chief principal owners will be Pett-Dante, Liebman

Brillstein-Grey Entertainment has completed an ownership transfer from Brad Grey and named longtime managers Cynthia Pett-Dante and Jon Liebman to run the company as co-presidents.

While the ownership issue had to be resolved once Grey left to become chairman-CEO of the Paramount Motion Picture Group, Brillstein-Grey has regained forward motion in recent weeks.

It brought in talent managers Aleen Keshishian, JoAnne Colonna and Mary Putnam Greene when their contracts expired at the Firm, and the TV group has closed a three-year overall deal at Touchstone.

While Brillstein-Grey would not discuss a purchase price, Grey, 100% owner since he bought out partner Bernie Brillstein in 1996, has been divested in an arrangement in which he will be paid a portion of revenues over a number of years.

Grey retains his financial stake in “The Sopranos” and several other TV shows generated while he owned the company.

The chief principal owners will be Pett-Dante, longtime manager of Brad Pitt, and Liebman, a former assistant U.S. attorney in New York whose ex-boss is his current client, former Gotham mayor Rudolph Giuliani. There are also a number of partners that include longtime B-G reps Marc Gurvitz, who handles Jennifer Aniston, and Sandy Wernick, who manages Adam Sandler.

The company has 15 managers who rep 75 thesps and about as many other clients including writers, directors and producers.

Brillstein-Grey Television continues to be run by prexy Peter Traugott, exec veep Becky Clements and development director Mike Marks. Shingle, which produces series “According to Jim” and “Jake in Progress,” most recently hatched Comedy Central skeins “The Showbiz Show With David Spade” and “The Mind of Mencia.”

“The way Cynthia and I look at it, the great thing about the company is that while we are injecting new blood into the company, there is continuity because we are still working with the people who built the company, from Bernie to Sandy and Marc,” Liebman said.

Both Pett-Dante and Liebman continue to work closely with Plan B, the film production company once owned by Pitt, Aniston and Grey. Pitt is the sole owner now, and Pett-Dante and Liebman orchestrated the shingle’s move from Warner Bros. to Paramount. Plan B has about 40 projects percolating and is about to begin production on “The Assassination of Jesse James,” a drama that will shoot in two weeks, with Pitt playing the famed gunslinger and Andrew Dominik directing.

Pett-Dante and Liebman said Brillstein-Grey may re-establish its own film production operation, which ceased when Plan B was hatched.

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