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Universal Pictures is merging its digital distribution division with Universal Studios Home Entertainment, headed by president Craig Kornblau. The studio described the move, which was announced Thursday by Universal president and chief distribution officer Peter Levinsohn, as a strategic realignment of its home entertainment functions.
Under the new structure, the physical and digital sales, marketing and distribution operations for film and television will operate under one entity. Kornblau will oversee all aspects of Universal’s domestic home entertainment operations for theatrical titles from Universal Pictures and Focus Features, as well as NBCUniversal’s television properties, direct-to-video content and acquisitions.
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Michael Bonner will continue to lead the domestic digital distribution team, overseeing domestic distribution for film and television across all platforms including VOD and electronic sell-through. His title will change to executive vp digital distribution for USHE and he will report to Levinsohn and Kornblau.
Under the restructuring, Jessica Schell will become executive vp new media and digital entertainment for Universal Pictures. Reporting to Levinsohn, Schell will continue to oversee Universal’s strategic relationships with digital companies across all existing and emerging platforms and will lead the company’s efforts to create new digital business opportunities, including initiatives to exploit new content, windows and formats such as UltraViolet.
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“Craig, Michael and Jessica are exceptional leaders in the home entertainment and new-media space and I’m thrilled to be working with such a talented team of professionals who are committed to the successful distribution of Universal content across existing and emerging platforms,” Levinsohn said. “By realigning our operations, Universal will be better positioned strategically to take advantage of growth opportunities in every home entertainment window, which is critical to further expanding our business.”
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