Film exec to run Tang Me­dia unit

Los Angeles Times - - COMPANY TOWN - By Ryan Faugh­n­der ryan.faugh­n­der@latimes.com

Tang Me­dia Part­ners, backed by China’s so­cial me­dia gi­ant Ten­cent, has hired vet­eran film in­dus­try ex­ec­u­tive Rob Fried­man to run its newly formed en­ter­tain­ment di­vi­sion. The move is the lat­est by the Los An­ge­les com­pany to be­come a global show busi­ness player.

Tang, founded by for­mer Bear Stearns Asia head Don­ald Tang in 2015, said Tues­day that Fried­man, most re­cently co-chair­man of Lion­s­gate Mo­tion Pic­ture Group, was named chair­man and chief ex­ec­u­tive of TMP En­ter­tain­ment, over­see­ing film and TV as­sets in­clud­ing IM Global and newly ac­quired Open Road Films.

Fried­man’s ar­rival comes just a day af­ter Tang sealed a deal to buy “Spot­light” dis­trib­u­tor Open Road Films from its pre­vi­ous co-own­ers, theater chains AMC En­ter­tain­ment and Re­gal En­ter­tain­ment, for an undis­closed sum.

Also, in a dra­matic twist Mon­day, IM Global founder Stu­art Ford was pushed out of the in­de­pen­dent sales and dis­tri­bu­tion firm over what a per­son close to the sit­u­a­tion said was a dif­fer­ence of opin­ion over the cre­ative di­rec­tion of the com­pany. IM Global is known for back­ing movies such as Mel Gib­son’s “Hack­saw Ridge.”

Tom Orten­berg, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Open Road Films, will re­main with the com­pany, re­port­ing to Fried­man.

Fried­man, who starts his new job im­me­di­ately, said that Tang is well po­si­tioned to be­come a for­mi­da­ble en­ter­tain­ment com­pany be­cause it now owns a do­mes­tic dis­trib­u­tor in Open Road and an es­tab­lished for­eign sales agent in IM Global.

TMP En­ter­tain­ment plans to re­lease about eight mid­sized films a year, plus two larger movies with fran­chise am­bi­tions that cost close to $100 mil­lion to pro­duce.

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