It was getting to the point that every few weeks I heard another rumor about where Hutch Parker, the vice chairman of Twentieth Century Fox Film Group, would be heading. Because it’s been common knowledge that Parker had one foot out the door. And that he was sought after in the community. In fact, I’d been given a tip two weeks ago that Hutch was exiting for New Regency only to be told by a Fox source that the job was “too small” for him. What a difference a few days make…

The general concensus is that Parker, who’ll co-chair New Regency with former Fox Filmed Entertainment vice chairman Bob Harper, “really had no job at Twentieth,” a source told me, explaining the move. “That vice-chairman job is a bit superfluous. Because there are very senior capable execs in charge of each division — except Alex Young. And this way Hutch may have an equity stake in New Regency and some autonomy without having to peddle his wares like a producer. Also, he could make more money.” Here’s the press release:

LOS ANGELES (May 21, 2008) — Hutch Parker will join Robert Harper as Chairman of New Regency, it was announced today by Harper. The move heralds a major step forward in the growth and expansion of the industry’s largest independent studio.

The pairing of Parker, currently vice chairman of Twentieth Century Fox Film Group, and Harper, a former Fox Filmed Entertainment vice chairman, will create one of the most experienced and multifaceted leadership teams in the business. The partners will share responsibility for all film, television and media-related ventures.

Harper said: “Hutch is one of the most accomplished executives in Hollywood.  He brings with him an amazing depth of commercial motion picture experience as well as strong, longstanding ties with top talent. For years we have spoken of partnering more directly with one another, and now with New Regency’s commitment to expanding its reach in the future, it felt like the perfect opportunity to capitalize on our relationship.”

Parker said:  “I’ve long dreamed of combining the best of studio resources with the benefits of a more flexible and entrepreneurial company. The chance to join Bob and Arnon at New Regency while continuing to work closely with our friends at Fox makes this an irresistible opportunity.”

Arnon Milchan, founder, New Regency, said: “I’ve known both Hutch and Bob for a long time, and I was excited when Bob brought up the idea of this partnership. Having two executives with almost unparalleled diversity of experience and expertise will elevate our company to new heights.”

New Regency includes a library of over 100 titles and distributes its films worldwide through Twentieth Century Fox. Regency Television is a joint venture between New Regency and Fox Television Studios.

Jim Gianopulos, Chairman of Fox Filmed Entertainment, said, “This is an ideal partnership of perfectly complementary skills and experience.  With New Regency’s resources and their long and close relationship with Fox, Bob and Hutch will be forming what is one of the most dynamic and compelling production teams in the business and we’re thrilled about this exciting new phase of our partnership.”

Commented Tom Rothman, Chairman of Fox Filmed Entertainment: “Hutch Parker is one of the most exceptional and well-rounded executives we have ever worked with. His many years at Fox have been characterized by consistent success and absolute integrity.  Hutch going ‘next door’ is a true win-win for us.”

Parker was named Vice Chairman of Twentieth Century Fox Film Group in 2007, prior to which he had served as President since 2005.  He joined Fox in 1995 as Senior Vice President, Production, was named Executive Vice President in 1997 and became President of Production in 1999. During Parker’s tenure, Fox had six record years in a row and produced numerous blockbusters.