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Paramount Retains Two Members of Senior Team

January 14, 2002|CLAUDIA ELLER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Paramount Pictures senior executives Robert Friedman and John Goldwyn have extended their contracts for four years and been given elevated titles at the Viacom Inc.-owned studio.

Both executives will continue to report to studio Chairwoman Sherry Lansing and will retain their current duties.

Friedman, who left Warner Bros. to join Paramount in January 1997 as vice chairman of the motion picture group, takes on the newly created title of chief operating officer. He will continue to oversee worldwide theatrical marketing, distribution and acquisition of movies and worldwide marketing and distribution of home entertainment. Friedman also oversees the studio's specialty film unit Paramount Classics.

Goldwyn, who has served as president of the motion picture group since 1991, will share the title with Friedman of vice chairman of the group and will be president of Paramount Pictures. Goldwyn will continue to oversee the studio's movie slate, with responsibility for development, budgeting, casting, production and acquisition of literary materials.

The studio scored its second-best year at the box office in 2001 with such hits as "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider," which took in more than $130 million, and "Save the Last Dance," a modestly budgeted teen favorite that was highly profitable after grossing more than $90 million domestically.

Among the Hollywood studios, Paramount continues to have one of the most stable management teams. Last spring, Lansing and Viacom Entertainment Group Chairman Jonathan Dolgen signed new six-year deals.

Dolgen said he was pleased to keep the management team together, as Paramount "enjoys a level of consistency and stability few other studios can match."

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