Television

MGM president Daniel Taylor to resign

MUMBAI: Film and television studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), recently bought over by Sony and a consortium of investors, have announced that MGM president Daniel Taylor is resigning effective tomorrow (31 January).

A company release states that Taylor's departure follows the completion of the first phase of MGM's transition to its new business model as well as restructuring MGM's operations.

MGM chairman and CEO Harry E. Sloan says, "Dan Taylor has done an excellent job in overseeing one of the most complex transactions ever completed by a Hollywood studio. Also, after the sale of MGM, Dan was successful in planning the implementation of the structural transition of our business operations, which was an incredibly difficult process. He has given us a clean slate to build a powerful content-driven, entertainment concern."

Taylor says, "MGM has been a home to me and I feel privileged to have played a key role in overseeing this important assignment. I enjoyed the challenge of overseeing the transitional effort as well as restructuring all of MGM's operations. I am proud that MGM is now in a position to be a competitive player in the new media landscape."

If MGM is able to make that transition, and soon, one beneficiary, particularly on the film side, would be Sony Entertainment Television India. Set India is expected to launch its new English movie channel SetPix next month and as of now, it will be relying mainly on MGM for new blockbuster titles.

This is because the output deal that Sony pictures Entertainment currently has with HBO Asia (in which it is a 25 per cent stakeholder) remains unaffected. This means that SetPix will get to screen films from the SPE stable only after they have aired on HBO.

Set India CEO Sony Kunal Dasgupta admitted as much when he told Indiantelevision.com, "Sony will honour its commitment to HBO as a 25 per cent stakeholder."

HBO country manager South Asia Shruti Bajpai also clarified that Sony's new channel will not affect the existing output deal that HBO has with the studio. “HBO will continue to bring the biggest, the newest and the most Hollywood blockbusters to our viewers in India from all our partner studios, namely Warner Brothers, Paramount, Universal and Sony Pictures Entertainment,” Bajpai said.

SetPix' premiere television opportunities will come from MGM releases. Among the big MGM titles that will have their theatrical release in the course of 2006 are the new Bond film Casino Royale, the new Pink Panther movie as well as a new Rocky movie. MGM also has the critically acclaimed Capote, which is expected to get a best picture Oscar nomnation tomorrow evening.

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