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by Eugene Hernandez
July 2, 2009 10:08 AM
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More Changes at Tribeca as Non Profit's Newman Leaves

Leadership changes continue at Robert DeNiro and Jane Rosenthal's Tribeca organizations, this time affecting the non profit side of their business. Brian Newman, who over the course of the past five years transformed arts funder National Video Resources into Renew Media and then merged the organization with the Tribeca Film Institute, has formally announced his resignation as CEO of TFI.

Newman reiterated yesterday that the desire for new, entrepreneurial opportunities led to his decision. He spent more than a year working with Tribeca's Rosenthal and others to merge Renew Media with TFI, in a deal that was announced in March of '08. While he considers tangible next steps for himself he said yesterday that he is pursuing work as a consultant.

"We wish him the best in his new endeavors," the Tribeca Film Institute said in a brief statement yesterday, confirming his immediate departure and noting that in the interim period, Eileen Newman - no relation - is managing the day-to-day operations of TFI and the organization's Reframe digital project, while Beth Jansen is managing programming as Artistic Director.

In a letter to friends and colleagues yesterday, Brian Newman expressed similar confidence for the leadership team at TFI. "I feel that the organization and these projects are now in a place where I can leave them in the hands of my extremely capable colleagues here at Tribeca where they can continue to flourish," he wrote.

Looking ahead, Brian Newman detailed that he wants to explore, "business development projects in the entertainment and cultural industries as well as helping filmmakers, artists and organizations to distribute content and connect with audiences through innovative uses of new technology."

A veteran of numerous non-profit groups, including IMAGE in Atlanta and the IFP in New York, Brian Newman is among a notable group of arts group leaders who are seeking change. Longtime IFP head Michelle Byrd and Sundance executive director Ken Brecher each recently announced their departures, while former Sundance Film Festival director Geoff Gilmore left to become head of Tribeca Enterprises.

"I think it's a time of a lot of change," Nemwan explained yesterday, "It's the perfect time to try to pull something new together. There will be even more change on the non-profit side," Newman added, explaining that he expects even more organizations to merge or shut down in the future.

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