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Columbia Chief to Leave to Form Production Firm

July 19, 1996|JAMES BATES

Columbia Pictures President Lisa Henson will leave Sept. 1 to form a new production company through Columbia.

Sources said Henson plans to be a producing partner with longtime Oliver Stone associate Janet Yang, who is leaving as president of Stone's Ixtlan Productions. Henson, who had clashed with Columbia production chief Barry Josephson, had been expected to leave. The company, which does not have a name yet, will be based at Columbia parent Sony Pictures Entertainment's Culver City lot.

Henson, daughter of the late Muppets creator Jim Henson, was named to the post of president March 1994. Henson was a Warner Bros. executive before joining Columbia in 1993, initially as president of production.

Columbia isn't expected to name anyone to take Henson's post. Josephson, who is president of production, will oversee Columbia's film slate.

Sony has been undergoing a shuffling of executives amid a disappointing summer.

Last week, Home Box Office executive Robert Cooper was named to head Sony's TriStar Pictures, replacing Marc Platt. And marketing chief Sid Ganis will leave to form Out of the Blue Entertainment, replaced by former Walt Disney marketing executive Robert Levin.

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