John Weiser, president of first-run television at Sony Pictures Television, is departing the studio after 33 years, Ravi Ahuja, chairman, global television studios and Sony Pictures Entertainment Corporate Development, said Wednesday.
Weiser, who had served as president of U.S. distribution for SPT, was named president of first-run television in 2018 after a major reorganization. Over the last three years, he has spearheaded the television division's location-based entertainment efforts and helped to lead the studio's efforts around turning some of the studio's intellectual property into non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
During his time as president of U.S. distribution, Weiser led negotiations on several cycles of Seinfeld in off-network syndication, as well as oversaw the effort to sell such shows as Dr. Oz, Queen Latfiah, Nate Berkus and The Goldbergs into syndication. He also oversaw sales of feature films produced by Sony Pictures.
Weiser joined Columbia TriStar Television, which was later absorbed by Sony, in 1990 as an account executive. He was promoted to division manager in 1992. Three years later, he was named VP, West Coast, overseeing the regional office. In 1999, he was named senior VP, sales, and he expanded his duties to include sales of Sony Pictures Entertainment's film and television library. He became executive VP, SPT, in 2002.
Prior to joining Columbia TriStar, Weiser was senior VP at Guber-Peters Entertainment and head of sales for Chuck Barris Entertainment. He began his career at Tribune Broadcast where he oversaw the company's Northeast and Midwest sales offices.
Weiser will remain at SPT through the end of September "to help ensure a smooth transition of his responsibilities," Ahuja told staff in the memo. He is not expected to be replaced.
The full text of the memo is below:
I’m writing to let you know that John Weiser, President of First Run Television at SPT, is leaving the studio after an incredible 33 years. While I’ve only had the pleasure of working with John for the past few months, his track record and tenure speak for themselves. He has been a valuable member of the SPT leadership team, and we wish him all the best.
Over the last three years, John has been responsible for reenergizing the studio’s first run division, spearheading the television division’s Location Based Entertainment efforts and helping to lead the NFT (nonfungible token) process for the studio's IP. John formerly served as President of U.S. Distribution for SPT, distributing the studio’s movies and TV series, and played a key role in successfully negotiating multiple cycles of Seinfeld syndicated sales in the U.S.
John will be with us until the end of September to help ensure a smooth transition of his responsibilities. Please join me in thanking John for his many contributions to Sony Pictures over the years and wishing him well in his next adventure!
Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.
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