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Paramount’s rising stars

Lesher to be No. 2 as Aversano exits

Scott Aversano is expected to ankle as prexy of MTV Films/Nickelodeon Movies and segue to a producing deal with Paramount.

Move is part of a looming restructuring at the studio that will see Paramount Vantage prexy John Lesher take the No. 2 spot at Paramount under Brad Grey.

Under the configuration, Paramount production prexy Brad Weston will expand his responsibilities by overseeing the MTV and Nick labels and will report to Lesher.

A Paramount insider said Aversano is in talks to sign a producing deal with the studio.

“Everyone here loves and respects Scott,” the source said. “They are hoping he will stay as a producer.”

Aversano is no stranger to producing. The former head of Scott Rudin Prods. branched out on his own in November 2005 and inked a three-year, first-look producing deal with Paramount. Former Paramount prexy Gail Berman was instrumental in bringing Aversano into the executive fold last year when he took the reins of the MTV and Nick labels.

Rob Moore, prexy of worldwide marketing, distribution and operation, will increase his duties under the revamped structure and continue to report to Grey, as will Lesher. Lesher, Weston and Moore’s titles and responsibilities are still being finalized.

All of Paramount’s production labels, with the exception of DreamWorks, will report to Lesher. The one question left unanswered by the studio shake-up is who will run the prestigious Vantage label. The Paramount insider insists that Vantage co-prexy Nick Meyer is the leading candidate.

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