Warner bros. has hired former BBC executive Ann Sarnoff as a new CEO, who for the first time in studio history draws attention to the fact that a woman is at the helm of the company.
Sarnoff will accompany John Stankey, CEO of WarnerMedia, as a top manager who oversees content while the company is on its way to a streaming-tough future. She comes in to replace Kevin Tsujihara, who is the business after one Hollywood Reporter story about using his influence to help Charlotte Kirk's acting career after starting a sexual relationship. Sarnoff is the only woman in a sea of men at WarnerMedia management level, including Bob Greenblatt, Jeff Zucker, Kevin Reilly and Casey Bloys.
"Ann has demonstrated the ability to innovate and show revenue and has embraced the evolution that is taking place in our industry," Stankey said in a press release. "I am convinced that she will be an excellent cultural fit for WarnerMedia."
The appointment of Sarnoff can be seen as a surprise among trade publications, but her area of expertise is perfect for WarnerMedia. The company throws everything in the upcoming streaming service and needs a leader who can unite the theatrical division with a new streaming company. Sarnoff worked for years at BBC Worldwide to improve distribution for channels such as BBC America, which saw an increase from 68M to 80M subscribers, according to a profile on the BBC website. During BBC she was also responsible for alternative ways to make money, including helping Doctor who merchandise reaches more than $ 100 million in retail during its years with the company between 2010 and 2015.
All these skills are crucial for Warner Bros. and WarnerMedia for the future. WarnerMedia is expected to launch its subscription streaming service this fall. AT & T or WarnerMedia executives have not confirmed a specific launch date or pricing. The service is said to cost between $ 16 and $ 17 per month. That brings it to the higher end of streaming service costs, but it includes a subscription to HBO Now, which is currently $ 15.