Executive shift at Paramount and Fox -- Sherry Lansing, Joe Roth, and Peter Chernin land new studio gigs

By Gregg Kilday
Updated November 20, 1992 at 05:00 AM EST

Washington, D.C., isn’t the only town changing the guard. In separate developments this month, both Paramount and Fox replaced their top film executives. Here’s a new scorecard:

*Old job: Onetime studio head (Twentieth Century Fox, 1980-’83) and prominent independent producer (Fatal Attraction, School Ties). *New job: As Brandon Tartikoff’s successor atop Paramount Pictures, she’ll report to her former partner, Stanley Jaffe. *What’s ahead: Where Tartikoff emphasized youth-oriented, TV-derived films (Wayne’s World, The Addams Family), Lansing is expected to rely on agency packages, stars, and adult fare. Already being readied is Intersection, a mid-life-crisis drama with Richard Gere. *Bottom line: Lansing won’t control Paramount’s TV division like Tartikoff; the degree of her authority is still unclear.

*Old job: Chairman of Twentieth Century Fox. *New job: Independent producer at Disney. *What he leaves behind: Fox has one sure Christmas hit (Home Alone 2) and three question marks (Hoffa, Toys, and Used People); the studio’s 1993 slate includes the Sean Connery-Wesley Snipes drama, Rising Sun, and Hot Shots 2. *What’s ahead: Roth’s Disney deal (25 films over five years) makes him one of the most powerful in-house producers. *Bottom line: With Barry Diller gone and Rupert Murdoch interfering, Roth left Fox at the right time.

*Old job: President of the Fox Entertainment Group. *New job: Chairman of Twentieth Century Fox, succeeding Roth. *What he leaves behind: Chernin jumps from the Fox network as its attempted expansion to seven nights of programming sputters. *What’s ahead: Speculation is that Chernin will back youth-appeal films and TV adaptations (look for Beverly Hillbillies — The Movie) and make fewer of the arty, low-return dramas (Naked Lunch, Barton Fink) favored by Roth. *Bottom line: Chernin was aggressive and innovative at the Fox network, but Murdoch’s meddling may muzzle him in his new post.