Cary Granat exits as Walden co-CEO

Will stay on to consult for next 'Narnia' film

Cary Granat is stepping down as co-CEO of Walden Media, the company he co-founded, but will remain as a creative consultant for the company's third installment of its "Chronicles of Narnia" franchise.

Walden has no plans to bring in another co-CEO to work with Michael Bostick, who joined Granat last March to head up the company.

Bostick and Anschutz Film Group CEO David Weil will take on Granat's responsibilities.

Granat intends to announce his plans, which will include also working as a consultant for AEG Live, the concert and promotion company owned by Phil Anschutz, who also owns Walden.

"This was a mutual decision," Weil said. "Cary and we both felt this was the right way to formalize the change in the company's creative direction that will now be overseen by Michael Bostick."

Granat's official departure rounds out a year that started with the January layoffs of a dozen creative and production executives at Walden and Bristol Bay Prods., as part of a restructuring effort by Anschutz Film Group.

Those efforts included bringing in Bostick as co-CEO to oversee Fox Walden, Walden's joint venture with 20th Century Fox created in August 2006. When Bostick came in, Granat's job shifted to overseeing "Narnia"-related projects.

"The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," on which Walden partnered with Disney, scored boxoffice gold in 2005, grossing $745 million in worldwide receipts. Its follow-up, "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian," did less, bringing in a worldwide gross of $420 million.

Walden is close to greenlighting the third installment, "Voyage of the Dawn Treader," which, like the two previous films, will be distributed by Disney.

"I'm extremely proud of what we've accomplished in my seven years at Walden," Granat said. "It's time for me to hit the recharge button and take on a new challenge, but I'll always look back fondly on my time at Walden."

Most recently, Fox absorbed the Fox Walden marketing unit, which including laying off about a dozen staffers, and giving additional duties to Fox Walden marketing president Jeffrey Godsick, tapping him as executive vp marketing and digital content.
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