No, it’s not a professional divorce, or anything even remotely like that. But after two decades working virtually side-by-side with Jeffrey Katzenberg in a showbiz marriage, veteran Terry Press is leaving DreamWorks to start a marketing company. With her contract up in December, she’ll stay loosely tied to DreamWorks Animation for two films. There isn’t a movie mogul, filmmaker or journalist who doesn’t have a priceless Press story. I’d tell you some myself, but she’d skin me alive since the juiciest were off-the-record. The weirdest time for her had to be when Katzenberg left Disney with such animosity towards Eisner that the lawsuit was filed, and Press stayed behind to keep working at Disney because DreamWorks hadn’t been formed yet. Now that was a recipe for disaster: any lesser exec would have died from that heartburn stew. To me, she was like Xena the Warrior Princess, always doing battle with Hollywood’s worst warloads, from Harvey Weinstein (butting heads at Oscar time and culminating in that Saving Private Ryan vs Shakespeare In Love slugfest) to FrankenEisner (in the Antz vs Bugs days when Disney and DreamWorks went head to head). Terry never took any shit from anyone, and, conversely, she rarely piled it on without a wink and a nod. I know this sounds too much like a eulogy, and Terry ain’t dead. But I see this news as the end of an era of loyalty and friendship, two virtues rarely visible in today’s shark-infested showbiz waters, when people like Terry followed moguls like Jeffrey, and Jeffrey let Terry know he couldn’t do without her. (Paula and Tom are the most visible biz duo left.) None of this import, of course, is captured in the pedestrian Variety story.
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