Chris Conti Named President Of Russell Simmons’ Def Pictures & RSTV

EXCLUSIVE: Russell Simmons is quickly building up his newly launched Def Pictures and RSTV. NBC drama executive-turned-producer Chris Conti has been tapped as president of the two companies. Simmons, who bought a home in Los Angeles at the beginning of the year, has been focusing his money, time and energy on his new production shingles and recently signed a first-look deal with HBO. He met with a number of executives before settling on Conti as president. “Chris is such a good drama guy, and he is such a good ‘melody’ guy with great instincts for story,” Simmons said. Conti was recommended to Simmons by Brett Ratner, for whom Conti most recently worked as president of his production company Rat TV. Simmons said he already has “a broad plate” of projects, including one based on an idea brought in by Conti, a Norman Lear-esque comedy about a progressive guy and a conservative girl whose relationship is put to the test as the politically divided country heads to an election. (more…)

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