AT&T is reportedly in talks with former Showtime and NBC executive Robert Greenblatt to run a new unit within its WarnerMedia division that houses HBO, Turner networks and a pending new streaming video offering.
News that Greenblatt was in talks with the programmer was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
According to several reports, Greenblatt is in advanced talks with AT&T and WarnerMedia chief John Stankey about heading the new unit. Greenblatt is a highly respected TV executive — he joined Showtime in 2003, credited with bringing in hits like Weeds, Nurse Jackie, Dexter and Shameless, leaving in 2011 to become head of Comcast’s NBC entertainment. At NBC, Greenblatt inherited a weakened prime time lineup but quickly led a turnaround, greenlighting hits like The Voice, The Good Place and This Is Us. He stepped down in September.
At WarnerMedia, Greenblatt — who was named to the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame in 2017 — is likely to be focused on AT&T’s plans to launch a new streaming video service towards the end of the year.
News of the talks also comes shortly after AT&T cleared the final hurdle in its purchase of Time Warner, after a Washington, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the government failed to prove the merger — which created WarnerMedia — harmed the public interest.
\With a wealth of experience in the TV business and a proven track record, Greenblatt has been linked to possible senior roles at Apple, CBS and Starz. According to reports, the talks with AT&T could break down and others executives could be considered.
In an interview with The New York Times in September, Greenblatt remarked how broadcast jobs could be “relentless.” And although news of his leaving was a surprise to the industry, he added that he had been negotiating his departure for months.
“You do get weary in these jobs,” Greenblatt told the Times in September. “With the daily changes that go on, you’re constantly reconfiguring the business. I’m just really excited about doing something. Whatever I do will be some new challenge.”
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