Lionsgate promotes David Spitz

Will head the mini-major's distribution operations

Lionsgate vet David Spitz has been tapped to head film-distribution operations at the mini-major.

Reupping as exec vp distribution, Spitz assumes department reins after the recent passing of film distribution president Steve Rothenberg. Spitz effectively has been serving as the top exec in distribution for the past few months, but he assumes the mandate more formally just as Lionsgate heads into its always-busy fall slate.

The studio unspools the Gerard Butler starrer "Gamer" during the Labor Day frame and next weekend will debut Tyler Perry's latest urban dramedy, "I Can Do Bad All By Myself." Then come the hoops doc "More Than a Game" (Oct. 2), horror sequel "Saw VI" (Oct. 23) and urban drama "Push" (Nov. 6).

Spitz will report to Lionsgate film group president Joe Drake.

"David is a natural leader and savvy distribution strategist, and he's played a critical role in bringing Lionsgate to new levels of audience awareness and financial success," Drake said. "As we continue to expand our feature film slate, David's expertise and depth of understanding will give us a tremendous competitive advantage when it comes to maximizing the potential of every one of our titles."

Spitz joined Artisan -- which later merged with Lionsgate -- in 1997, and he was promoted to exec vp distribution at Lionsgate in 2007. Before Artisan, Spitz had stints at Mann Theatres, MGM and Live Entertainment.

"While we mourn the untimely death of our dear friend and colleague, Steve Rothenberg, we are pledged to furthering his legacy of professional integrity, creative agility and savvy opportunism on behalf of our films," Spitz said.