(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — As expected, veteran talent manager Brad Grey has been named to head Paramount film studio as chief executive and chairman, effecitve March 1. As previously reported, he replaces Sherry Lansing, whose contract ends this year (CelebrityAccess, January 4).
As head of Brillstein-Grey talent management, Grey joins a select list of talent executive to make the move to studio boss, some successful, some not. Universal Studios chief Lew Wasserman had been an agent at Music Corp of America, and Creative Artists Agency uber-agent Michael Ovitz left CAA for a short-lived stint at Disney.
"It's a thrill to announce Brad Grey as the next leader in the great history of Paramount Pictures," said Tom Freston, co-president and Co-COO of Viacom Inc., of which Paramount Motion Picture Group is a unit of. "Brad's integrity and values are matched by his exceptional vast entertainment experience and common sense. Brad's smarts, style and instincts have made him a winner time after time over the years. He's an entrepreneur, a manager, a dealmaker, a hit maker and has that combination of creative business acumen. He's the ideal leader for the challenges of motion picture business today and tomorrow.
"My top priority is to make Paramount even better than it is today," Freston added. "I want the studio to be the best place for creative people, a place where they can do their best work. Brad shares this vision and his unparalleled abilities in this area will make this happen." — Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner