As expected, Bob Greenblatt will take the reins at AT&T’s WarnerMedia Entertainment as its new chairman, overseeing premium cable network HBO as well as Turner cable networks TNT, TBS and TruTV. He’ll also oversee content for the direct-to-consumer streaming service that WarnerMedia plans to launch at year’s end. Greenblatt will report directly to WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey.
“I’m honored to be joining WarnerMedia during such an exciting time for the company and the industry as a whole, and I look forward to working alongside the many talented executives and team members across the company,” Greenblatt said in a statement. “WarnerMedia is home to some of the world’s most innovative, creative and successful brands and we’re in a unique position to foster even deeper connections with consumers.”
Greenblatt’s arrival heralded the departure of two long-time executives: HBO CEO Richard Plepler, who stepped down after 27 years, and Turner Broadcasting’s David Levy, who was with Turner for 33 years. Both men announced their exits late last week. Meanwhile, Casey Bloys, HBO’s president of programming, and Kevin Reilly, chief creative officer of TBS, TNT and WarnerMedia streaming, will report directly to Greenblatt.
Several existing Warner executives — studio head Kevin Tsujihara, CNN Chief Jeff Zucker and Turner International President Gerhard Zeiler — all expanded their purviews under the new structure.
Tsujihara will keep his position atop the movie studio and add oversight of WarnerMedia’s “new global kids and young adults business,” according to the company. That business includes Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang, and will also include Otter Media, a digital content studio created in partnership between AT&T and Peter Chernin, and Turner Classic Movies. That separates the smaller Turner brands, such as Cartoon and Adult Swim, from the larger Turner networks.
Zucker has been named chairman of WarnerMedia news and sports. Under that title, he’ll oversee Turner Sports and its deals with the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball, Bleacher Report and the AT&T Regional Sports Networks as well as continue to lead CNN Worldwide.
Zeiler takes the role of chief revenue officer, overseeing HBO and Turner affiliate operations as well as advertising for the entire organization.
Prior to joining WarnerMedia, Greenblatt was chairman of NBC from 2011 to 2018, and is largely credited with restoring the Peacock Net to its leading broadcast position. Before that, he led Showtime from 2003 to 2010. He also was an executive at Fox in its very early days, and for a time was an independent producer with business partner David Janollari. Together, the pair executive produced HBO’s Six Feet Under. In that way, Greenblatt’s new appointment brings him back to his roots.
“…t goes without saying I will always have a soft spot in my heart for HBO going back to the rewarding experience I had producing Alan Ball’s Six Feet Under.’”