Packer to head TV distribution at Lionsgate

Exec to focus on digital, international expansion

Jim Packer has left the Lion for Lionsgate, where he’ll serve as prexy of worldwide television distribution and digital.

Packer was recruited by Lionsgate to spearhead the company’s growth through digital distribution and new channels. He’ll report to Lionsgate prexy Steve Beeks.

Packer will work closely with Lionsgate TV programming and production prez Kevin Beggs on digital and international distribution strategies for the minimajor’s TV output, which at present includes AMC’s “Mad Men” and Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie” and “Weeds.”

At MGM, even with the Lion’s ownership changes and debt woes, Packer drove the creation of the This TV movie channel that mined the MGM vault to provide programming for local TV stations’ digital multicast channels.

Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury syndie wing will continue to operate autonomously and handle sales of first-run and off-network product.

Packer had been with MGM since 2001, most recently serving as co-prexy of worldwide TV.

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