Saturday, May 18, 2024

Billionaire Jeff Skoll Shutting Down Participant Media, Film Company Won 21 Oscars Including for “Spotlight” and “Green Book”


Ebay billionaire Jeff Skoll is shutting down Participant Media.

The film company has earned 21 Oscars including Best Picture awards for “Spotlight” and “Green Book.” They also won an Oscar for Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” and produced the big hit, “The Help,” among other films.

Last week, I got calls that Participant had fallen apart. All the employees were sending out resume. Skoll had decamped to Palm Beach and no longer had any interest in the company.

What a shame. Participant had been a big player in smart, quality indie films. Their current chief, David Linde, is one of the most talented people in the biz.

Participant’s collapse has been coming since the death of its original leader, Diane Weyermann in 2021. In the last couple of weeks, studios and executives across town have been receiving a flurry of resumes from current Participant staff.  Sources told us last week if they couldn’t get another influx of cash soon, the company would be kaput by the end of the year. 

Projects in development and in the pipeline are on pause.”  A source added, “the company has been hemorrhaging money for a while.  There is not even enough money for milk for coffee or snacks.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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