Rick Haskins has been promoted to president of streaming and chief branding officer at The CW, which is co-owned by ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia.
“Rick is one of the best marketers and digital strategists in the business and has helped establish The CW as one of the preeminent entertainment brands,” said The CW Chairman and CEO Mark Pedowitz Wednesday in a statement. “For more than a decade, under Rick’s leadership, The CW has created and continues to evolve a unique, vibrant ecosystem that aligns our linear broadcast and streaming platforms and allows us to harness social media in a way that is unmatched in the industry.”
In his new position, he will oversee distribution of The CW’s streaming platforms as well as lead development, production and acquisition of original programming for The CW’s ad-supported platform, CW Seed, and other digital platforms. He also will continue to oversee the network’s marketing and branding efforts.
“The growth of CW Seed that Rick has developed and nurtured from an incubator to what is now a robust streaming service will add to the strength of our brand position,” said Pedowitz.
For the past several years, The CW had been in a mutually beneficial streaming partnership with Netflix, which helped the network grow viewership for such programs as Supernatural, Riverdale and more. But with media conglomerates taking their streaming futures into their own hands, The CW’s streaming strategy has changed. Full-season streaming rights to this year’s new shows, including Batwoman, Katy Keene and Nancy Drew (pictured above), went instead to the streaming services of The CW’s parent companies—CBS All Access and WarnerMedia’s HBO Max. CBS All Access retained full-season streaming rights to Nancy Drew, which it produces, while HBO Max held on to those rights for Batwoman and Katy Keene, which Warner Bros. TV produces.
The CW also has full-season streaming rights for all of these shows across its own streaming platforms up to 30 days before the premiere of the new season. At that point, those rights shift to a rolling-five episodes until all of the new season’s episodes have aired on the linear platform.
Haskins oversaw the launch of The CW’s digital studio in 2012, which was rebranded to CW Seed in 2013. The CW plans to launch CW Seed Live with programming from People and Entertainment Weekly this spring. Haskins joined The CW when it launched out of the merger of UPN and The WB in 2006.