Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh has dismissed its chief spokesperson David Shane several months after he shifted from his position as EVP of corporate communications to a consultant role at the studio, TheWrap has learned.
For four years, Shane had arguably one of the toughest jobs in Hollywood — spinning news to make Relativity look good in the press even as Kavanaugh drove the spiraling company into bankruptcy.
Shane effectively served as Kavanaugh’s loyal mouthpiece and was well-compensated for his troubles. With Relativity glimpsing a light at the end of its Chapter 11 tunnel, it’s possible the company was prepared to move forward with a cheaper alternative.
When TheWrap discovered Shane’s absence from the list of Relativity’s executives on the company’s website in mid-December, insiders said that Shane had recently transitioned to a consultant role but was still very much committed to Relativity and had no plans to leave the company — especially in its time of need.
Prior to Relativity, Shane served as an EVP at Hiltzik Strategies, where he worked with Relativity as a client before the company hired him as its full-time communications chief. Prior to that, Shane worked at ICM.
Shane is the latest executive to part ways with Relativity following the exits of Tucker Tooley, Happy Walters, Greg Shamo, Andrew Matthews, Matt Alvarez and Robbie Brener.
Relativity has yet to close deals with its new chairman Kevin Spacey and president Dana Brunetti, the Trigger Street partners who announced plans to take over the beleaguered studio as soon as it emerged from bankruptcy — which it hasn’t yet. Nor has the company secured new financing for operations despite announcing $100 million in new funding — which turned out to be closer to $20 million.
The company has been locked in a legal battle over financial promises that Kavanaugh has failed to keep — the latest setback in his quest for both personal and professional redemption in Hollywood.
Shane did not immediately respond to a late-night request for comment.