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Doug Belgrad exits as president of Sony Pictures' motion picture group

Doug Belgrad exits as president of Sony Pictures' motion picture group
Doug Belgrad is stepping down as the president of Sony Pictures' motion picture group. (Arkasha Stevenson / Los Angeles Times)

Doug Belgrad, the president of Sony Pictures' motion picture group, is stepping down this summer, marking the latest upheaval for the Culver City movie and TV studio.

Belgrad, who has been with the studio for 27 years, is expected to transition to a producer role, a person familiar with the matter said Thursday.

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The person, who did not want to be named discussing internal affairs, said Belgrad, 50, would stay on with the company until after the release of its key "Ghostbusters" reboot in July. A replacement has not been named.

A Sony Pictures representative declined to comment.

Belgrad's departure, first reported by the Hollywood Reporter, marks the second major executive departure from the studio this week. Earlier Thursday, the company confirmed that Steve Mosko, the chairman of its successful television unit, will be leaving.

Both resignations are viewed as blows to the studio, which has lagged behind its competitors at the box office in recent years. Sony currently ranks last out of the six major studios in terms of domestic ticket sales so far this year, according to Box Office Mojo.

The film division has enjoyed solid ticket sales from its recent animated release "The Angry Birds Movie," but has also endured recent flops including "The Brothers Grimsby" and "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies."

A respected film executive who first joined Sony in 1989, Belgrad was considered to be in the running to replace then-studio chief Amy Pascal after her ouster last year. Former Fox studio head Tom Rothman ultimately won the position, reporting to Sony Pictures Chief Executive and Chairman Michael Lynton.

Belgrad was promoted to president of the motion picture group in 2014, after already serving as president of the company's Columbia Pictures division.

Mosko's exit was particularly surprising given the success of Sony's TV business, with shows such as "Breaking Bad" on AMC and "The Blacklist" on NBC.

The TV studio produces such syndicated juggernauts as "Jeopardy" and "Wheel of Fortune," as well as such prime-time hits as "The Goldbergs" and "Shark Tank" for ABC, "Outlander" for Starz and "Masters of Sex" for Showtime.

The company said leadership of Sony Pictures Television will be shared by multiple current executives who will report directly to Lynton.

Duties will be split among programming and production presidents Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, worldwide networks head Andy Kaplan, distribution chief Keith Le Goy, and president of advertiser sales and research Amy Carney.

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