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CBS Films names Hammer, Press co-presidents

Duo tapped to head Film division

After more than half a year without a president, CBS Films has promoted Wolfgang Hammer and Terry Press to co-prexies of the CBS division.

Press has been consulting for the studio since 2010 and Hammer has been serving as chief operating officer.

Move comes seven months after Amy Baer ankled as president and CEO of CBS Films, corresponding with the end of her contract. Hammer and Press will report to CBS topper Leslie Moonves, who created CBS Films as a home for mid-budget mainstream titles in 2007.

“They both possess the ‘roll-up-your-sleeves’ attitude for making, acquiring and marketing quality films for a division that is small in size, but laser-focused on assembling a mix of homegrown productions and acquisitions across a diverse range of genres,” he said in a statement.

The basic aim of CBS Films – filling the gap left by the majors for moderately priced titles with wide appeal – isn’t expected to change. The company is continuing with its strategy of releasing about six pics a year with around half produced internally and half as acquisitions, with the new co-prexies telling Variety that they’re considering all types of mid-level projects and budgets.

“We don’t want to be branded as looking for one thing, whether it’s $25 million or $4 million,” Press said.

“We like directors, we like original ideas that have creative and emotional value, and we’re not in the tentpole business,” Hammer added.

Press will oversee creative, distribution, marketing and physical production. As the principal of 7570 Marketing, she’s consulted on several CBS Films releases including “The Mechanic,” “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” and “The Woman in Black” along with “The Hunger Games,” “Julie and Julia,” “The Social Network” and “Hugo.”

Press was head of marketing for DreamWorks, where she oversaw campaigns for all live-action and animated features including “Saving Private Ryan,” “American Beauty” and “Shrek.”

Hammer will oversee business, finance, legal affairs and acquisitions, including financed, co-financed and completed projects for the division. As chief operating officer, he oversaw the acquisition of “The Woman in Black,” “Gambit” and “The Words,” as well as the co-financing and distribution deals for Martin McDonagh’s upcoming “Seven Psychopaths.”

Prior to joining CBS Films, Hammer was exec VP of the motion picture group at Lionsgate. Hammer also served as VP of production, at Media Rights Capital.

The studio’s most recent wide release was “The Woman in Black,” which has grossed $54 million in domestic box office after being acquired for $3 million. Its limited release of “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” has grossed $7 million so far.

CBS Films recently wrapped production on laffer “Get a Job.” Upcoming releases include horror thriller “7500,” “Seven Psychopaths,” “The Words” and a remake of “Gambit,” starring Colin Firth, Cameron Diaz and Alan Rickman.

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