Multiple choices

The unfolding Paramount Classics situation boils down to this: (a) as run by co-presidents Ruth Vitale and David Dinerstein over the last six years, the division has been steadily profitable but not overwelmingly so, mainly due to financial-strategy restrictions placed upon Vitale-Dinerstein by former Paramount COO Jonathan Dolgen; (b) with Dolgen out as of last June, Viacom co-prexy Tom Freston has said he wants Par Classics to become a more dynamic, Fox Searchlight-resembling operation, and (c) in line with this, Paramount vice-chairman Rob Friedman is thinking about hiring John Sloss (the New York-based indie sales vet and producerís rep), former UA topper Bingham Ray or maybe distrib-marketing vet Danny Rossett to run a new, re-jiggered Paramount Classics, the basic idea being to focus more on production and building relationships with filmmakers. Great, but I donít get why Vitale-Dinerstein are being painted with the Dolgen brush. Hitting only bunts and singles wasnít their idea, and they know the ins and outs of the acquisitions game as well as Sloss, Ray or Rossett.

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