AT&T’s Warner Bros. unit announced that the chairman of its television group, Peter Roth, will be stepping down next year after 20 years heading the studio.
The move is the latest in a series of veteran TV executives who have left AT&T since the company acquired Time Warner last year.
The departure was announced by Ann Sarnoff, who was brought in chairman and CEO of WarnerMedia Studios after AT&T took control.
“Peter and I have been meeting for some time about this, and while there’s never a great moment to say goodbye, he felt that this was the right time to transition in a new leader for the group,” said Sarnoff
“He’s delivered hundreds of shows, thousands of episodes, millions of viewers, with one singular vision – to work with the best people and to make the best television series,” Sarnoff said. “In addition to being well respected by his colleagues and competitors, actors, writers, directors and producers, he is the force behind iconic, pop-culture-defining television shows we all know and love, including The West Wing, The Big Bang Theory, Gilmore Girls, Two And A Half Men, Gossip Girl, Supernatural, The Flash and countless others. We’re thankful for his contributions to our company and wish him the very best.”
Warner Bros. Television Group is part of WarnerMedia’s new Studios and Networks Group, centralizes content creation as the company focuses on HBO Max, its new streaming service under new WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar.
Under Roth Warner Bros. created 32 scripted primetime series that reached the 100-episode mark, the point at which series traditionally began generating revenue in syndication and off-network sales.
Among those shows are The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, The West Wing, Gilmore Girls, Smallville, Gossip Girl, Shameless, Nip/Tuck, The Mentalist, Pretty Little Liars, Arrow, Mom, The Closer, Fringe, The Middle, George Lopez, The Flash, Mike & Molly, Person of Interest, Supernatural, Third Watch, The Vampire Diaries and One Tree Hill.
“Working at Warner Bros. has been the greatest, most meaningful, most rewarding experience of my career,” said Roth. “For the past 22 years, I have had the privilege to be associated with some of the most inspiring creative talent, the most impactful television series and the most dedicated and passionate people I have ever known. It has long been my dream to be able to say farewell at the right time in the right way and for the right reason. I’m grateful to Ann Sarnoff for giving me that opportunity and to my Warner Bros. colleagues, past and present, for giving me what has been the gift of a lifetime. I look forward to the next chapter of my career and remaining connected to those people who have meant so much to me.”
Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.
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