Gail Berman has declined to say what her next move may be after her exit this week as president of Paramount Picutres, which followed the latest studio restructuring. Maybe TV, maybe film, maybe a combination of both.
If she’s eyeing a full-time return to the medium, the former Fox entertainment president could make some high-level network and studio executives nervous about their jobs.
But her departure could also be seen as a blow for Paramount Pictures-parent, Viacom. During her short time running the film studio, Berman found it difficult to shake her TV roots, which also included heading Regency Television.
Had she stayed, Berman might have been able to lend a hand as Viacom weighs plans to establish a full-fledged TV studio. Such a move would put Viacom in direct competition with its former corporate sibling, CBS, which took all of the seasoned television executives along with it when the two companies split last year. Now Viacom will be left to sort out its future without Berman’s valuable counsel.
The surprise March 2005 announcement that Berman would leave Fox to run Paramount’s movie slate proved to be as shocking as when the late TV legend Brandon Tartikoff skipped NBC in the early 1990s to chair Paramount. His tenure at the studio also proved to be brief, lasting just one year.