Paramount's Home Video Chief Resigns

Times Staff Writer

Paramount Pictures Corp.'s longtime home entertainment chief resigned abruptly Thursday, replaced by a veteran video executive from Warner Bros.

Eric Doctorow, a 20-year veteran of Paramount's video unit, is the third top home video chief to leave a studio in the last month. 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment's Patricia Wyatt resigned to form a film company, and Warner Bros. ousted video chief Warren Lieberfarb.

In a statement, Paramount said Tom Lesinski would replace Doctorow. At Warner, Lesinski was part of a team that was the industry's most aggressive at pushing the direct sale of DVDs to consumers.

Paramount would say only that Doctorow was resigning to "pursue other interests and to seek new challenges."

The studio overall had an unusually downbeat year in 2002, with only one film, "The Sum of All Fears," eclipsing the $100-million mark at the domestic box office.

Though Paramount and all other studios are enjoying the boom in DVD sales, the company's video division lacked the advantage of huge hit titles such as Sony Pictures Entertainment's "Spider-Man" and Walt Disney Co.'s "Monsters, Inc."

Doctorow helped push the direct sale of videocassettes starting in the late 1980s. Among the highlights of his tenure was the release of "Titanic" on videocassette and DVD.

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