Deadline’s Nikki Finke broke the story over the weekend that Bruce Rosenblum was leaving his post as head of Warner Bros Television. Warner Bros CEO Kevin Tsujihara confirmed Saturday night and made it official today with a release and a memo to staff from he and Warners chairman Barry Meyer. The restructuring (see below) at the TV division, as expected, includes expanded duties for Peter Roth who is now president and COO. Here’s the memo that went around:
In his 25 years at Warner Bros., as all of you know, Bruce helped build one of the world’s most successful global television production and distribution operations. With his great energy, skill, creativity and vision, Bruce – and the strong team he has built around him – was responsible for some of the most popular and successful television series of all time, including “Friends,” “ER,” “The West Wing,” “Two and a Half Men,” “Two Broke Girls,” “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and “The Bachelor.”
Bruce has been a vital member of the Warner Bros. family and a good friend to so many of us, and he will be missed.
Please join us in congratulating Bruce for his remarkable tenure at the Studio and wishing him great success as he embarks on the next chapter of his career and life.
Here are the details of the restructuring from today’s release:
(May 15, 2013 – Burbank, CA) Warner Bros. today announced a strategic realignment of its television and home entertainment operations to continue the Studio’s focus on producing the world’s best content while maximizing its value by taking full advantage of every current and emerging exhibition platform. The organizational changes were announced by Kevin Tsujihara, CEO, Warner Bros.
“The digital revolution continues to change every aspect of the way we do business, and this strategic realignment will help us address those changes to better deliver our world-class content to the widest array of consumers across the globe,” said Tsujihara. “Warner Bros. has the world’s best television series, films, games and original digital content, and we are committed to maximizing its value to the company, our creative partners and, ultimately, consumers.”
Under this realignment, which is effective immediately, the Studio’s worldwide television operations will be overseen by a team of longstanding executives responsible for global production and distribution; the Studio’s digital strategy will be consolidated under a Chief Digital Officer; and various home entertainment functions will be reassigned.
“One of Warner Bros.’ greatest strengths has always been its people, and this realignment will tap into the expertise and experience of a number of the company’s longstanding executives,” said Barry Meyer, Chairman, Warner Bros. “The Studio and its leadership have a legacy of adapting and evolving to meet and exceed consumers’ demands. The changes announced today continue that tradition and solidly position us for future success.”
In television, Peter Roth will now serve as President and Chief Content Officer, Warner Bros. Television Group, while retaining his title and responsibilities as President, Warner Bros. Television, Warner Horizon Television and Animation. He will add creative oversight of Telepictures Productions and Warner Bros. International Television Production to his responsibilities. Craig Hunegs will now serve as President, Business and Strategy, Warner Bros. Television Group, with responsibility for the business operations of the Group. He will also be responsible for windowing strategies and expanding production businesses. Additionally, Hunegs will join the boards of both The CW Network and Shed Media. Jeffrey Schlesinger will now serve as President, Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Distribution and be responsible for distribution of the Studio’s content to all television platforms worldwide, including the sale of previously produced series and feature films to U.S. broadcast and cable outlets, domestic syndication and sales to SVOD and AVOD platforms. He will also continue to be responsible for the business operations of WBITVP.
Roth, Hunegs and Schlesinger will all report directly to Tsujihara. Roth and Schlesinger will share oversight of Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Marketing, headed by Lisa Gregorian, Chief Marketing Officer, Warner Bros. Television Group.
Thomas Gewecke, previously President, Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, has been named Chief Digital Officer and Executive Vice President, Strategy and Business Development, Warner Bros. Entertainment, and is responsible for driving the Studio’s worldwide digital growth and managing its global business strategy. He will further be charged with coordinating the company’s various digital distribution strategies to maximize the value of all of Warner Bros.’ content across all current and emerging digital exhibition platforms (SVOD and TVOD functions will continue to be managed by the Television and Home Entertainment Groups). Gewecke will additionally oversee Warner Bros. Technical Operations, Corporate Business Development, and Home Entertainment’s Direct-to-Consumer, Business Development and Flixster groups. Gewecke will report directly to Tsujihara.
In Home Entertainment, Ron Sanders, formerly President, Warner Home Video, will become President, Warner Bros. Worldwide Home Entertainment Distribution. In this new role, Sanders will expand his purview to include global digital transactional business (electronic sell-through and VOD), as well as the global distribution activities of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE). Additionally, Sanders will help expand the retail distribution of DC Entertainment products, working closely with DCE’s President, Diane Nelson. Sanders will report directly to Tsujihara.
Diane Nelson remains President, DC Entertainment, which continues to be a stand-alone entity under Warner Bros. Entertainment, and she will now have a dual report to Tsujihara and Jeff Robinov, President, Warner Bros. Pictures Group. Nelson adds responsibilities as President and Chief Content Officer for WBIE, where she will oversee the development, production and marketing of all video game titles for WBIE, including those based on DC characters, as well as other Warner Bros. properties and original IP. In this capacity, she will work closely with WBIE’s President, Martin Tremblay, who will now report to Nelson and Sanders.
UPDATED SHOCKER! Kevin Tsujihara To Become Warner Bros CEO; Bruce Rosenblum And Jeff Robinov Didn’t Find Out Until Late Last Week; “I’m Disappointed; Who Wouldn’t Be?” Rosenblum States; “Excellent Choice,” Robinov Says