Ascent Media taps Phipps for global sales

Ascent Media Group, a collection of companies offering postproduction services, has appointed John Phipps as senior vp global strategic sales. The appointment comes as John Malone's Discovery Holding is preparing to spin off wholly owned subsidiary AMG along with Discovery Networks into an independently traded company. Phipps will build a sales team to develop opportunities for the company's Viia file-based services and to coordinate worldwide engagement with major media clients.

Walden promotion

Walden Media has hired Amanda Morgan Palmer as its senior vp development and production, focusing on family comedies. Morgan Palmer, who spent the past eight years as vp production at Shady Acres Entertainment, will manage the Walden slate as well as search for and develop new projects for the production company. At Shady Acres, Morgan Palmer oversaw slate development and served as a co-producer on "Evan Almighty" and associate producer for "I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry" and "Accepted."

Armstrong tops jury

Australian director Gillian Armstrong has been named jury president for the Sydney Film Prize, the Sydney Film Festival's inaugural competition taking place next month. The 12 films nominated in the competition will compete for an AUS$60,000 ($57,000) prize, which will be awarded June 16. The festival runs June 4-22.