Participant Media Marketing Chiefs Kathy Jones, Buffy Shutt Exiting (Exclusive)


UPDATED: The socially-minded production company was founded in 2004 by Silicon Valley billionaire Jeff Skoll.

Participant Media's film marketing chiefs Kathy Jones and Buffy Shutt are exiting the financing and production company at the end of the week.

The longtime business partners joined Participant in 2007 as executive vp marketing after working as consultants for the company, helping to guide some of Participant's first releases, including Good Night and Good Luck, Syriana and An Inconvenient Truth.

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Participant was founded in 2004 by former eBay executive Jeff Skoll with a mandate to co-finance and co-produce socially-minded films, both narrative features and documentaries. The outfit has since expanded into television via the new cable channel Pivot and digital content.

During their tenure, Shutt and Jones served as liaisons between Participant and the studios releasing and marketing such films as The Help, The Kite Runner, Promised Land, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Lincoln.

As Participant's model has evolved into a multiplatform business, a standalone film marketing group was no longer needed, insiders say. Instead, a senior vp marketing will likely be brought aboard, parallel to similar positions in television and digital.

And in early January, Participant CEO Jim Berk tapped former Sony executive Ann Boyd as executive vp communications, working across all divisions.

Participant's upcoming film slate includes Chavez, which made its premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, The Hundred-Foot Journey and J.C. Chandor's A Most Violent Year.

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