Relativity Ousts Communications Chief David Shane

Relativity Studios has terminated the contract of communications chief David Shane, Variety has confirmed.

Shane was an indefatigable advocate for the bankrupt studio behind “Limitless” and “Act of Valor” as it collapsed last summer under the weight of its debts and too many film flops. His job was complicated by the studio’s penchant for announcing or leaking financial deals and operational shifts, only to have to backtrack.

His exit comes as Relativity is struggling to emerge from Chapter 11 protection. Founder Ryan Kavanaugh had said he had raised roughly $100 million in working capital, but in court proceedings, it was revealed that the figure he had secured was closer to $20 million. The company has also brought on Kevin Spacey and his producing partner Dana Brunetti to run the studio, but has yet to sign a deal with the men. In a press release, Relativity said it acquired Spacey’s company, Trigger Street, but in court it said the pact was a licensing agreement.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Michael Wiles has conditionally approved the studio’s exit, but has said that the studio must produce firmer proof of its financial commitments, and a contract for Spacey and Brunetti to take over.

Relativity filed for bankruptcy protection last summer, citing $1.2 billion in liabilities and assets with a book value of just $560 million. Last fall, its television business was auctioned off to a group of hedge funds that includes Anchorage Capital, Luxor Capital and Falcon Investment Advisors. In bankruptcy, the studio has been able to wipe roughly $630 million from its books.

Shane previously ran the West Coast office for Hiltzik Strategies. He was in charge of global external communications for Hewlett-Packard, was senior VP for corporate communications at ICM during the agency’s recapitalization and held senior communications roles at Comcast.

Deadline first reported news of Shane’s exit. Shane declined to comment.

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