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John Lesher

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BUSINESS
November 3, 2005 | Claudia Eller, Times Staff Writer
Four months ago, Hollywood agent John Lesher sent an internal e-mail to his colleagues at Endeavor, assuring them that rumors about his leaving to become head of Paramount Pictures' specialty film unit were completely untrue. On Monday, in a classic Hollywood turnabout, Lesher's 15 partners at Endeavor issued a statement congratulating him on landing the job he once claimed not to be taking. "We are thrilled for John Lesher and his new role at Paramount Classics," the statement said.
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BUSINESS
June 20, 2009 | Claudia Eller
Paramount Pictures, shaking up its management ranks, ousted its two top production executives Friday, signaling unhappiness with the pace of development and performance of movies developed under their watch, including the current Eddie Murphy bomb "Imagine That."
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ENTERTAINMENT
May 20, 2006 | From City News Service
Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's film "Babel," which premieres at Cannes on Tuesday, will be the first movie released by a new specialty film division of Paramount Pictures, the studio announced Friday. The new division, Paramount Vantage, is expected to release about eight to 10 movies a year, ranging from sophisticated films with art-house sensibility to smaller-budget comedy and horror films, according to a company statement.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 29, 2008 | PATRICK GOLDSTEIN
VARIETY'S venerable Peter Bart didn't like my Friday posting -- published in Saturday's Calendar -- about John Lesher running Paramount Vantage into the ground, calling it a shrill "rant," his way of saying that I lack the smooth, world-weary cynicism that colors Bart's own writing. He was also clearly peeved that I had the temerity to point out how Bart's trade paper, never one to ever step on any studio toes, had managed to cover the firing of 60 Vantage staffers in true accept-the-press-release style, failing to note that the staffers were taking the fall for Vantage's inability to make any money (while Lesher whooshed off to become Paramount's head of production)
BUSINESS
November 10, 2005 | Claudia Eller, Times Staff Writer
Paramount Pictures said Wednesday that it had named Hollywood agent John Lesher president of the studio's specialty film division. As previously reported, the Viacom Inc.-owned studio is hiring Lesher, 39, to turn around the fortunes of its foundering independent movie unit, which has trailed more successful rivals such as News Corp.'s Fox Searchlight and NBC Universal's Focus Features.
NEWS
December 20, 2006 | Josh Young, Special to The Times
PARAMOUNT finds itself in a strange place this awards season -- in the race. Stranger still is how it got there. Last week the studio picked up 15 Golden Globe nominations, two more than any competitor, positioning it well for the Oscars. It has four potential best picture contenders. In descending order, they are "Dreamgirls," "Babel," "Flags of Our Fathers" and a long shot, "World Trade Center."
ENTERTAINMENT
July 29, 2008 | PATRICK GOLDSTEIN
VARIETY'S venerable Peter Bart didn't like my Friday posting -- published in Saturday's Calendar -- about John Lesher running Paramount Vantage into the ground, calling it a shrill "rant," his way of saying that I lack the smooth, world-weary cynicism that colors Bart's own writing. He was also clearly peeved that I had the temerity to point out how Bart's trade paper, never one to ever step on any studio toes, had managed to cover the firing of 60 Vantage staffers in true accept-the-press-release style, failing to note that the staffers were taking the fall for Vantage's inability to make any money (while Lesher whooshed off to become Paramount's head of production)
BUSINESS
October 30, 2006 | Claudia Eller, Times Staff Writer
When John Lesher sold a film project to Paramount Pictures Corp. last year, the Hollywood talent agent couldn't have imagined he'd end up shepherding the movie into theaters as head of the studio's new specialty unit. "Babel," an intense drama starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, opened over the weekend, Lesher's first release under the Paramount Vantage banner.
BUSINESS
June 20, 2009 | Claudia Eller
Paramount Pictures, shaking up its management ranks, ousted its two top production executives Friday, signaling unhappiness with the pace of development and performance of movies developed under their watch, including the current Eddie Murphy bomb "Imagine That."
BUSINESS
February 15, 2002 | Claudia Eller
Hollywood agent John Lesher, who represents such clients as directors Sydney Pollack, Paul Thomas Anderson, David O. Russell, Kimberly Peirce and Jessie Nelson and actress Jennifer Jason Leigh, has left United Talent Agency to become a partner at rival agency Endeavor. UTA agreed to settle Lesher's contract, which still had 14 months to go. At this point, it is unclear which of Lesher's clients will follow him. Lesher will be one of 10 partners at Endeavor. Lesher worked at UTA since 1991.
NEWS
December 20, 2006 | Josh Young, Special to The Times
PARAMOUNT finds itself in a strange place this awards season -- in the race. Stranger still is how it got there. Last week the studio picked up 15 Golden Globe nominations, two more than any competitor, positioning it well for the Oscars. It has four potential best picture contenders. In descending order, they are "Dreamgirls," "Babel," "Flags of Our Fathers" and a long shot, "World Trade Center."
BUSINESS
October 30, 2006 | Claudia Eller, Times Staff Writer
When John Lesher sold a film project to Paramount Pictures Corp. last year, the Hollywood talent agent couldn't have imagined he'd end up shepherding the movie into theaters as head of the studio's new specialty unit. "Babel," an intense drama starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, opened over the weekend, Lesher's first release under the Paramount Vantage banner.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 20, 2006 | From City News Service
Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's film "Babel," which premieres at Cannes on Tuesday, will be the first movie released by a new specialty film division of Paramount Pictures, the studio announced Friday. The new division, Paramount Vantage, is expected to release about eight to 10 movies a year, ranging from sophisticated films with art-house sensibility to smaller-budget comedy and horror films, according to a company statement.
BUSINESS
November 10, 2005 | Claudia Eller, Times Staff Writer
Paramount Pictures said Wednesday that it had named Hollywood agent John Lesher president of the studio's specialty film division. As previously reported, the Viacom Inc.-owned studio is hiring Lesher, 39, to turn around the fortunes of its foundering independent movie unit, which has trailed more successful rivals such as News Corp.'s Fox Searchlight and NBC Universal's Focus Features.
BUSINESS
November 3, 2005 | Claudia Eller, Times Staff Writer
Four months ago, Hollywood agent John Lesher sent an internal e-mail to his colleagues at Endeavor, assuring them that rumors about his leaving to become head of Paramount Pictures' specialty film unit were completely untrue. On Monday, in a classic Hollywood turnabout, Lesher's 15 partners at Endeavor issued a statement congratulating him on landing the job he once claimed not to be taking. "We are thrilled for John Lesher and his new role at Paramount Classics," the statement said.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 16, 2007 | Claudia Eller
Angelina Jolie says she had no idea that the press was being asked to give up some of its freedom in order to interview her at a junket in New York about her new film, "A Mighty Heart," in which she plays the wife of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. Jolie and her lawyer say that the lawyer blindsided her by asking reporters earlier this week to sign an onerous contract forbidding any questions about her personal life at Friday's press junket at the Waldorf Hotel.
BUSINESS
September 2, 2011 | By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
With his film finance and production company short on box-office successes over the last few years, New Regency Productions founder Arnon Milchan is replacing his leadership team. Milchan, whose company has been partnered with 20th Century Fox since 1998, will assume a more hands-on role overseeing operations as its chairman. Co-Chairmen Bob Harper and Hutch Parker, who have jointly run the film and television outfit since 2008, will be leaving. Milchan is close to hiring former Paramount Pictures production President Brad Weston as president and chief executive of the company, in which 20th Century Fox parent News Corp.
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