Sony Pictures Television said it has named veteran TV executive Katherine Pope as president of its Sony Pictures Television Studios, overseeing all domestic scripted productions. Pope, who has been head of original content for Charter Communications since 2018, starts her new position on August 22.
Pope will report to Ravi Ahuja, chairman, Global Television Studios and Sony Pictures Entertainment Corporate Development.
“Katherine has proven herself as a dynamic leader with impeccable taste and the ability to successfully develop and produce content that resonates with audiences,“ Ahuja said in a statement. “She is an excellent fit for this role and I’m delighted that she has chosen to join us at SPT.
“Katherine brings vast experience that will help us build on the overall strength of our global production capabilities at the studio,” he continued. “With Katherine leading our scripted production business in the U.S. and Wayne Garvie leading our international production business, we have an incredible leadership team dedicated to working with the industry’s top talent to produce undeniable content around the world.”
Pope has more than two decades of experience in the TV business, including a 10-year run with NBC/NBCUniversal Television Studios in a number of leadership roles, including executive VP of the network and president of the studio. She developed such hit shows as Heroes, Friday Night Lights, 30 Rock, and The Office. Pope later launched the television division at Peter Chernin’s Twentieth Century Fox-based production company, Chernin Entertainment, overseeing all creative development and production. She also executive produced several series, including Fox comedy New Girl.
She was tapped to run Charter’s original content division, Spectrum Originals, in 2018, curating a slate of premium series such as the upcoming A Spy Among Friends, starring Damian Lewis and Guy Pearce, as well as Beacon 23, starring Lena Headey and Stephan James; Panhandle, starring Luke Kirby, and George & Tammy, starring Jessica Chastain and Michael Shannon. She also greenlighted L.A.’s Finest, starring Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba, the limited series revival of Mad About You, and Joe Pickett, which became Spectrum Originals’ most-watched series.
Pope also served as executive producer, along with Elizabeth Meriwether, of the Emmy-nominated Hulu limited series The Dropout, based on the podcast of the same name and starring Amanda Seyfried.
In May, Pope was named one of Multichannel News's Wonder Women of Los Angeles.
“I am thrilled to be joining the incredibly talented team Tony and Ravi have assembled at SPT — a studio with the strength, expertise and independence to lead amidst the challenges of a rapidly evolving marketplace,” Pope said in a statement. “I have long admired the creativity and high-quality work SPT consistently produces and can’t wait to explore all the opportunities that lie ahead. I am excited to step onto the lot and get started!”
No word on who Charter will name as Pope’s replacement, but sources familiar with the operator said they are working on transition plans. ■
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Mike Farrell is senior content producer, finance for Multichannel News/B+C, covering finance, operations and M&A at cable operators and networks across the industry. He joined Multichannel News in September 1998 and has written about major deals and top players in the business ever since. He also writes the On The Money blog, offering deeper dives into a wide variety of topics including, retransmission consent, regional sports networks,and streaming video. In 2015 he won the Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Profile, an in-depth look at the Syfy Network’s Sharknado franchise and its impact on the industry.