Harper tops bill at Regency

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Longtime 20th Century Fox executive Robert Harper will move across the lot to take the reins of Regency Filmed Entertainment as its new chairman and CEO.

The new position, which essentially fills the vacancy left by former Regency Enterprises CEO David Matalon, who resigned this month, will see Harper oversee Regency's film production unit New Regency Prods. as well as its TV development and production division Regency Television.

"It's really exciting for me," Harper said. "I now get to be really involved in five to six movies a year rather than being sporadically and peripherally involved in 30-40 movies. I'm thrilled."

Fox and Regency are hopeful that Harper's new role will allow the companies to work together more effectively than they have in the past. The production company regularly produces a handful of films for Fox's annual slate.

"While we will miss Bob's daily counsel and guidance, we're fortunate that we will continue working closely with him in his new role at Regency," Fox Filmed Entertainment chairmen Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos said. "We value our partnership with Regency and think the company could not be in more capable hands than under his expert direction."

The position will allow Harper to try his hand at the world of television development and production for the first time. He had held the role of vice chairman at Fox Filmed Entertainment since 2004, where he had oversight over all of Fox's film divisions. He previously held numerous executive positions within the company, including vice chairman of 20th Century Fox, executive vp of Fox Filmed Entertainment and president of worldwide marketing.

"I hope that my knowledge and essentially development of the Fox machinery will allow Regency to improve its relationship with Fox and allow us to be a better contributor to the Fox slate," Harper said.

Added Regency founder Arnon Milchan, "I have worked closely with Bob over the nine years Regency has been partnered with Fox, and during that time I have seen what a consummate professional and visionary businessman he is."

Harper, who began his career at Fox as manager of trailers, served as director of creative advertising and later was vp advertising, will transition to Regency during the next couple of months. Fox is not expected to fill Harper's position.

Harper also spent time in independent production, heading his Fox-based Featherstone Prods., which developed and produced "Rookie of the Year" for Fox in 1993. Before joining Fox, Harper was vp and GM of Kaleidoscope Films from 1979-84.
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