The shoe has dropped in the Paramount-Relativity squabble over top executive Steve Bertram.
TheWrap has learned that Relativity has agreed to pay Paramount over a million dollars in order to get Bertram released from his position as the head of business operations for Paramount Home Video.
Bertram is now poised to become Relativity’s COO.
The two companies - actually, Paramount COO Rob Moore and Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh - have been tussling over Bertram since August.
Paramount had refused to let Bertram out of his contract. An individual close to the situation said that Relativity paid Paramount more than a million dollars to get Bertram released.
But another knowledgeable individual said that the payment consisted of monies that Paramount was already due from an existing business deal over the co-production "The Fighter." The compromise consisted of moving the payment up from next year to 2010, this individual said.
Either way, it looks like Relativity has a new COO (who apparently has no graven image to be found anywhere on the Internet).
Bertram's deal at Relativity is not yet complete, but the paperwork is expected to be done in the next few days.
Bertram was CFO of DreamWorks after it split witih DreamWorks Animation in 2004, and helped negotiate the sale to Viacom.
Relativity currently has a COO in Andrew Marcus, but as Kavanaugh continues to put in place the components for a full-fledged independent studio, it seemed inevitable that he hire a more seasoned operating officer.
Relativity and Paramount declined to comment for this article.
Read previously: Relativity Taps Paramount's Steve Bertram for Top Spot