EXCLUSIVE: Relativity executive vice president and communications chief David Shane had his contract terminated tonight by chairman/CEO Ryan Kavanaugh, sources said. Shane lasted four years in a job that wasn’t easy, especially after Relativity plunged into Chapter 11 with $1.2 billion debt and $560 million in assets.
I’ve found Shane to have been forthright and yet loyal in pressing Relativity’s case to media outlets like Deadline while Kavanaugh fought for the future of his company. Shane previously ran the West Coast office for Hiltzik Strategies and repped Relativity there, and he was senior communications officer under Jeff Berg at ICM before that. Shane joins a growing line of key Relativity executives who are now former employees. That list includes president Tucker Tooley, co-COO and Relativity Sports president Happy Walters, co-COO Greg Shamo, co-president of production Matt Alvarez and CFO Andrew Matthews.
Relativity expected to emerge from Chapter 11 this month, but it hasn’t been an easy exit, partly because announcements that were made didn’t prove in court to be as advertised. Kavanaugh announced he’d raised $100 million to make new projects, but that turned out to be just $20 million; it also came out in court that Relativity hadn’t yet locked down deals to acquire Trigger Street Productions and install its principals, Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti, as chairman and president in charge of generating film and TV productions. This after much January fanfare when Kavanaugh, Spacey and Brunetti declared they would start the job this month and would soon be green lighting new projects, once the company cleared the bankruptcy court hurdles.
Shane did not comment.