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Par plucks Cosgrove

Exec exits Section Eight for veep position

Section Eight co-prexy Ben Cosgrove is ankling George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh’s Warner Bros.-based production shingle to become a senior VP at Paramount.

Departure signals that Section Eight will disband sometime around the end of the year, when its first-look deal with Warners expires.

As Brad Grey’s Par rebuilds and rebrands, studio will look to Cosgrove to parlay his extensive talent relationships into making bigger studio movies. The widely respected creative exec has shepherded many of the projects thought of as Section Eight trademarks, including exec producing this year’s “Good Night, and Good Luck” and “Syriana.”

Cosgrove isn’t expected to be replaced at Section Eight, with co-prexy Jennifer Fox supervising Section Eight projects still in the pipeline.

Soderbergh and Clooney have been suggesting for months that they are ready to close up shop, even as Section Eight enjoys a year of record awards and nominations.

Soderbergh has said he wanted to focus more on directing. Clooney likewise wants to focus more on acting and directing.

Soderbergh said he and Clooney would probably still work together, but not in a formal fashion.

Cosgrove also exec produced the upcoming Clooney starrer “The Good German,” a black-and-white WWII murder mystery directed by Soderbergh, and Richard Linklater’s upcoming “A Scanner Darkly.”

Cosgrove has been with Section Eight — which turned out “Ocean’s Eleven” and “Ocean’s Twelve” — since its inception in 2000. Before that he was an exec at Clooney’s Warner Bros.-based shingle, Maysville Pictures.

Previously, he was a director of creative affairs at TriStar Pictures.

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