People/Biz

Turner programming head Michael Wright stepping down

Michael Wright (pictured), the president and head of programming at TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies, is reportedly stepping down from his post after 12 years with Turner Broadcasting.
August 29, 2014

It is understood that Michael Wright (pictured), president and head of programming at TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies, is stepping down from his post after 12 years with Turner Broadcasting.

Based in Los Angeles, Wright oversees all original programming for the networks, as well as managing original content for digital brands and scheduling programming for TBS and TNT. It is understood that he will be staying on at the company while the search for his replacement continues.

The exec played a significant role in securing unscripted shows such as Boston’s Finest and Cold Justice for TNT, and King of the Nerds and Deal With It for TBS.

Wright’s exit comes at a transitional time for the company, which saw the departure of Turner Entertainment Networks president Steve Koonin in April. The exec left the cable company after 14 years to become the CEO of the Atlanta Hawks basketball team.

Earlier this week, multiple U.S. outlets reported that Turner Broadcasting offered voluntary buy-outs to more than 500 senior employees in a bid to reduce costs at its portfolio of channels. It is believed the buy-outs will be followed by lay-offs and additional cost-cutting measures.

After joining TNT in 2002, Wright was named senior VP of original programming for the network in 2004. His duties expanded to include TBS in 2005 and TCM in 2007, ultimately leading to the position of exec VP and head of programming for TNT, TBS and TCM in 2008. Wright assumed his present role in May 2012.

Prior to joining Turner, the exec was vice president of movies and miniseries for CBS Productions and CBS Entertainment.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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