By Ray Pride

Former Universal Pictures Chairman Fogelson Named Chairman of Robert Simonds’ New Studio

(Los Angeles – September 24, 2014) — Former Universal Pictures Chairman Adam Fogelson will be named Chairman of the Motion Picture Group for the new, next generation film and television studio being led by Robert Simonds, the studio announced today.

Fogelson, who most recently led Universal Pictures to three of the most successful years in that studio’s history, will oversee all aspects of the motion picture group for Simonds’ new studio, including its production, marketing, distribution and home entertainment strategy. The studio is currently ramping up to finance and self-release up to 10 major motion pictures a year, primarily in the $20-$60 million budget range.

“This is a monumental moment for our new company. Adam chose us over other extremely compelling offers because he recognizes the once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a modern, multi-media entertainment company from the ground up. The creation of a new major studio has not been accomplished in nearly two decades,” said Simonds, who called Fogelson “one of the most exceptional executives I have ever met. What Adam did at Universal was amazing. Now he brings a major infusion of talent, experience and taste to a studio that is quickly being defined by the breadth and strength of its executive bench.”

Earlier this month, the studio recruited former Disney production and marketing chief Oren Aviv as its President and Chief Content Officer of the Motion Picture Group.

“With the shifts, opportunities and challenges that are taking place in the entertainment industry, we get the rare chance to reimagine how a contemporary studio should operate, taking full advantage of the lessons learned from the trenches,” said Fogelson. “I couldn’t be more excited to be working with Bob,   who is a true innovator and a brilliant entrepreneur, and Oren, whose breadth and depth of success make him a very valuable asset to the company. We have assembled some of the sharpest minds in the industry and we will be dedicated to optimizing the way we approach everything from overhead and studio administration to production, marketing and distribution decisions. We’re backed by a board and shareholders with tremendous vision and resources. The opportunity here is striking.”

Aviv added, “Adam and I have talked about working together for a long time, and I’m thrilled that he will be leading us as we launch our first slate and grow our incredible new studio. The kinds of films he championed at Universal are the kinds of movies we seek to make. His hire is a true coup for our company.”

Fogelson is the latest high-profile hire for the new studio, which also includes a Board of Directors with many prominent players in the world of global finance and entertainment such as Frank Biondi, former President and CEO of Viacom, Inc. and Former Chairman and CEO of Universal Studios; Tony Vinciquerra, Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fox Networks Group; film and stage producer, businesswoman and filmmaker Gigi Pritzker (Ender’s Game, Drive); David Bonderman, Founding Partner of TPG; Bill McGlashan, Managing Partner and Founder of TPG Growth; and John Zhao, CEO of Hony Capital, one of China’s largest and most respected private equity firms.

After formally launching just four months ago, the studio has already scored its first major television production commitment with NBC’s recent primetime pick-up of the drama series “State of Affairs,” starring Katherine Heigl.  The show will debut this November.

From 2009 thru October of last year, Fogelson served as Chairman of Universal Pictures.  While at the company, he oversaw worldwide operations for the motion picture group, including its global theatrical, home entertainment, partnerships & licensing, finance, human resources and communications divisions.  In 2012 and again in 2013, under Fogelson’s leadership, Universal celebrated its highest grossing years at the worldwide box office in the company’s 100+ year history. During his tenure as Chairman, Universal released numerous hit films including Ted,BridesmaidsContraband, Safe HouseDr. Seuss’ The LoraxSnow White and the Huntsman, Identity Thief, Pitch PerfectMamaThe PurgeLes Misérables. Despicable Me 1 and 2, and Fast and Furious 5 and 6. Other greenlit films while Fogelson was Chairman include Best Man HolidayLone SurvivorRide AlongNon-StopNeighborsThe Purge 2and Lucy.

Fogelson joined Universal in 1998, beginning as Vice President of Creative Advertising and rising to President of Marketing and Distribution in 2007. During his time in Universal’s marketing operations, Fogelson worked on all the films in the Meet the Parents, Bourne, American Pie and The Fast and the Furious franchises, along with other box office successes including Mamma Mia!American Gangster, Knocked Up, Bruce Almighty, Seabiscuit, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, 8 MileThe Break-UpErin Brockovich, Notting Hill, Bring It On and Ray.

He also managed the marketing campaign for Universal’s Tony Award-winning smash-hit musical Wicked.

His work on 2008’s diverse and highly successful film slate earned him recognition from Advertising Age as 2009’s Entertainment Marketer of the Year.

Prior to Universal, Fogelson was Senior Vice President, Worldwide Marketing, for Trimark Pictures.  He also previously served as Vice President of the AFA Company, a consulting firm focusing on production marketing and distribution, where his clients included Carolco Pictures and Nelson Entertainment.

Fogelson graduated from Stanford University in 1989, earning a BA in Communication.  He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two daughters.

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One Response to “Former Universal Pictures Chairman Fogelson Named Chairman of Robert Simonds’ New Studio”

  1. MORRIS WOLFF says:

    I am the author of prize winner “Whatever happened to Raoul Wallenberg” and for 30 years i have worked to rescue this great hero of the Holocaust who rescued 100,000 Jews in Budapest. I went to federal court and won a $39 million dollar verdict against the Russians for kidnapping and disappearing Wallenberg.

    I will be in LA and staying at the Wilshire

    hotel from Tuesday January 19 to 24. I have written the outline for an explosive expose movie which will rock the world New evidence of an exciting nature is available I want to speak to Adam Fogelson. You can read my bio on Google. please call m

    e Friday or Monday at 352 753 0105. I want to meet with him. Suggest a time when he and/or h

    is representative can meet with me at the Wilshire to discuss the possibility of making this book into a major movie. It will do as well as “Concussion” and is the story of two heros.

    I am flying in from Orlando to meet with Mr. Fogelson. He is the man to make this film.

    from orlando,Florida.i

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon