UPDATE: Paramount Pictures is now announcing what my sources told me: it’s taking its faux indie division Paramount Vantage’s marketing, distribution, and physical production and combining those three into big Paramount. But I’m also assured that Paramount Vantage will still be an ongoing brand that will still be developing and acquiring specialty product with dedicated creative staff. Only now the films will be released by big Paramount. As part of this, the co-president of marketing at Vantage, Megan Colligan, will be joining Paramount Pictures as paramount-logo.jpgco-president of domestic marketing alongside Josh Greenstein, upped from EVP of marketing at Paramount Pictures. Both will be reporting to Gerry Rich, who’s president of worldwide marketing. Insiders tell me that Colligan’s colleague, Guy Endore Kaiser, will likely be departing. Paramount later tonight will be officially announcing these management changes. Presumably, the poor peons will suffer consolidation as this reorganization proceeds. Vantage boss Nick Meyer still reports to John Lesher, who now gets to keep an even closer eye on his old stomping ground after his big promotion from Vantage head to president of the Paramount Film group. So will Rob Moore, who was upped the same time as Lesher – from president of Paramount’s worldwide marketing, distribution and home entertainment, to vice chairman of Paramount Pics. Hollywood has already seen Warner Bros shut down its faux indie Warner Independent Pictures. So I gotta ask: in light of today’s news, what’s the future of the other faux indies — Miramax at Disney, Focus Features at Universal, Sony Classics at Sony Pictures, and Fox Searchlight at Fox Filmed Entertainment

Here is the official Paramount news release:

Hollywood, CA (June 3, 2008) – Paramount Pictures and Paramount Vantage today announced the consolidation of its marketing, distribution and physical production departments, which will serve both entities. The merged marketing department will be lead by Gerry Rich (President, Worldwide Motion Picture Marketing). Megan Colligan and Josh Greenstein who were promoted to Co-Presidents of Domestic Marketing, will report to Mr. Rich. The consolidated distribution department will be lead by Jim Tharp (President, Domestic Theatrical Distribution) and the combined physical production department will be headed by Georgia Kacandes, Executive Vice President, Physical Production. Mr. Tharp and Mr. Rich will continue to report to Rob Moore, Vice Chairman, Paramount Pictures. Georgia Kacandes will report to Brad Weston, President, Production, Paramount Films.

“The new consolidated structure allows both Paramount and Paramount Vantage to leverage the strengths and resources of a combined talent base, while minimizing redundancies and optimizing efficiencies,” said Rob Moore, Vice Chairman, Paramount Pictures.

“Today’s change is in line with our strategy to restructure the business for the long term,” added John Lesher, President, Paramount Film Group.  “It takes into account the dynamic nature of the marketplace and positions Paramount for the future.”

The combined resources of these departments will service Paramount Pictures, Paramount Vantage, DreamWorks Pictures, MTV Films, Nickelodeon Movies, as well as distribution partners Marvel and DreamWorks Animation.