Pavlik retiring from AMPAS publicity post


John Pavlik, the veteran director of communications at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will pass the baton to his second-in-command, Leslie Unger, after the 79th Annual Academy Awards on Feb. 25.

Academy executive director Bruce Davis said Wednesday that Unger will succeed Pavlik, who is retiring. She officially will step into her new post April 1.

Pavlik has served as the only communications head in the Academy's history, having taken on the role when the Academy moved its public-relations operations in-house in 1992. He had served an earlier stint as the Academy's executive administrator from 1979-82 and also was director of the five-year endowment campaign for the Academy's Margaret Herrick Library from 1989-93.

Unger, currently the organization's publicity coordinator, joined the Academy staff in 1992.

"This is no minor change for us," Davis said. "John has been a key part of the Academy staff for a good long while, and his knowledgeability, his wide network of industry relationships and his fabled grace under pressure won't be easily replaced. The good news, of course, is that Leslie has had a chance to study him at close range for almost 15 years now, and our executive administrator, Ric Robertson, and I have no doubts that she'll make a seamless transition into the top job."