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Amazon Studios has added two entertainment-industry veterans to its team. Amazon’s original programming division announced Monday that it has hired former Disney ABC Television Group exec vp and chief product officer of digital media Albert Cheng as its Chief Operating Officer and Picturehouse CEO Bob Berney as its head of movies distribution and marketing, as Amazon Studios expands into film production.
Berney is a veteran marketing and distribution executive who most recently relaunched Picturehouse in January 2013 as an independent film marketing and distribution company, which he presided over as CEO. Berney had previously founded the original Picturehouse in 2005 as a joint venture with HBO Films and New Line, and that iteration lasted until 2008 when it was closed by Warner Bros. The new Picturehouse has an exclusive, multiyear output deal with Amazon’s rival Netflix and also an output deal with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.
At Amazon, Berney will be responsible for overseeing distribution and marketing for all Amazon Original Movies, following Amazon Studios’ January announcement that it will begin to produce and acquire original movies for theatrical release and early window distribution on Amazon Prime Instant Video.
In between his tenures at Picturehouse, Berney served as CEO of Apparition and co-founded and served as president theatrical distribution at FilmDistrict.
Earlier in his career, he worked as an executive with IFC Films and then Newmarket Films. Berney has overseen the releases of hits like My Big Fat Greek Wedding, The Passion of the Christ, Memento, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Insidious, Drive and Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark.
At Disney ABC, Cheng led efforts to bring Disney and ABC programming to a wide array of digital platforms. Cheng won a primetime Emmy for outstanding achievement in advanced interactive television.
At Amazon he will oversee Amazon Studios’ efforts across all business operations and software development.
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