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Movies

December 03, 1987|RICK SHERWOOD | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

Columbia Pictures began cleaning house Tuesday, dismissing at least 30 production and marketing executives in Los Angeles and New York--including many who had been hired by or associated with former Columbia chairman David Puttnam. Industry observers and Columbia executives had expected layoffs at the Coca-Cola film unit as a prelude to its merger with Tri-Star Pictures under the Columbia Pictures Entertainment banner. Most prominent among the pink-slipped was worldwide production president Fred Bernstein, but many vice-presidents and directors also were fired. Columbia sources said Wednesday that the company's sales-distribution and international divisions were also being pruned. Tri-Star chairman Victor Kaufman--who will head up the new Columbia Pictures Entertainment company--was not available for comment Wednesday.

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