Gary Marenzi, MGM's Top International TV Exec, Leaves Studio
After four years as the top international television executive at Metro Goldwyn Mayer, Gary Marenzi left the studio at the end of last week, MGM confirmed on Monday.
Marenzi's exit comes only weeks before former NBC Universal executive Roma Khanna is due to take over as President of the Television Group and Digital, with oversight of all MGM television operations worldwide.
Khanna has been hired by Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum, the heads of Spyglass Entertainment who took over as co-chairman of the studio this past December following a financial reorganization. It is unclear what they plan to do in TV or what resources will be available to go beyond selling the large MGM library of films and TV shows as well as the few remaining TV series still on the air.
There is no set start date yet for Khanna, who is being relocated from London to Los Angeles, but a MGM spokeswoman said she would be in place at the studio by the end of July.
MGM declined to comment on Marenzi's departure. Since earlier this year Marenzi had also been handling some duties previously done by Jim Packer, who in January left MGM to join Lionsgate as worldwide president of TV and digital.
Marenzi declined comment. He is expected to take a vacation and then restart his consulting company Marenzi & Associates.
Marenzi joined MGM in 2007, a year after Packer, who had taken over under then CEO Harry Sloan. That was not long after the studio took back its TV sales operations from Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2006.
While Packer ran domestic TV, and others oversaw digital and the MGM branded international channels, Marenzi took on oversight of production and distribution of TV and digital for the worldwide marketplace.
Marenzi is known for his strong relationships with TV networks outside the U.S. That became vital during the 2008-2009 recession when much of his efforts went into collecting money owed the studio at the time.
For a while, say sources, that money was the most important cash flow MGM had as its efforts to restart the movie operations (at MGM and sister studio UA) never got into high gear.
Marenzi also played a key role in the launch of the TV show Teen Wolf on MTV; which gave him something more to sell when he attended MIP, MIPCOM and other markets where he was well known and trusted from his years in the business.
Marenzi also played a key role in the launching of additional MGM TV channels in the U.K. and Italy, among other territories.
Among other deals that Marenzi made was the August 2010 renewal of a contract with ITV in London for all the James Bond movies. He also made a deal in the U.K. in the summer of 2010 with Lovefilm Player for MGM titles online and on internet-enabled devices.
Marenzi had come to MGM in 2007 after operating his own consulting company. Prior to that he had spent seven years as President of International Television for Paramount Pictures, where he helped launch international channels, headed worldwide distribution and oversaw co-productions and financings for shows that included The Dead Zone and The 4400.
This most recent stint was actually Marenzi's second time at MGM. Between 1992 and 1997, Marenzi was President of the MGM Telecommunications Group, responsible for worldwide TV and pay TV business.
Before MGM, Marenzi had been President of the UIP Pay TV Group, based in London for three years. Prior to that he had worked at times for Skouras Pictures, The Samuel Goldwyn Company, Warner Home Video, Columbia Pictures and HBO.