Exec exits New Line for MGM


In the first key hire since Mary Parent's appointment to head MGM's worldwide motion picture group last week, veteran New Line executive Cale Boyter has been named executive vp production at the studio.

He will be tasked with identifying "movies that will work in the marketplace," MGM said.

The move suggests that Parent is moving quickly to shore up her production ranks in order to get MGM making pictures again, while Boyter's hire also indirectly paints a likely next step for most New Line staffers. New Line recently was absorbed into Warner Bros., with Toby Emmerich last week named president and COO of the leaner label. New Line is expected to shed at least 450 of its 600 positions in the coming weeks.

Boyter's appointment is the first step in MGM's new strategy of building its theatrical business, with the studio now focusing on assembling a team of executives with extensive backgrounds in development, production and talent relations. A new plan might be crucial as the Lion's pay TV output deal with Showtime expires at year's end, calling into question the rationale behind its deals with outside movie producers who partnered with the studio to take advantage of the Showtime arrangement.

Separately, MGM COO Rick Sands is said to be considering a new contract, one that would reflect a new role within the company. Studio representatives declined comment on whether Sands was indeed negotiating a new deal — or an exit package, which seemed to be the case late Wednesday. (An undetermined number of staffers who reported to Sands apparently now report to Parent.)

Boyter spent the past 10 years at New Line, most recently as executive vp development. He is known for having an ear for comedy and worked on and exec produced "Elf," "Wedding Crashers" and "Just Friends." His credits include overseeing and exec producing "A History of Violence," "Pride and Glory" and the upcoming "Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D." He was responsible for New Line's first-look deal with Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey.

Parent, who came to MGM from Universal, said she has had her eyes on Boyter for a while. The studio had to work fast because Boyter was being courted by two other studios. "Many people, including myself, have tried to hire Cale in the past, but the timing has never worked out," she said.

Boyter started his career at Paradigm before joining New Line as an executive assistant.

Borys Kit reported from Los Angeles; Gregg Goldstein reported from New York.