People/Biz

Reilly splits programming teams for TBS, TNT

Three months into his role as TBS and TNT president, Kevin Reilly is splitting the networks' shared original programming team into two units, with separate leadership for each. (Pictured, L-R: Sarah Aubrey, Brett Weitz)
February 4, 2015

Three months into his role as TBS and TNT president and Turner Entertainment chief creative officer, Kevin Reilly is splitting the networks’ shared original programming team into two units, with separate leadership for each.

The former Fox chairman joined the nets in November, with an eye on spearheading an expanded programming push. Along with creating distinct programming teams for TBS and TNT, realscreen  understands that Reilly will also be assessing the unscripted strategy for both nets. David Eilenberg will continue to supervise unscripted programming, late night and specials for both nets as SVP of that division.

Leading programming for TNT is producer Sarah Aubrey (pictured, left), who is to serve as executive VP of original programming, while Turner Broadcasting’s Brett Weitz (right) has been named executive VP of original programming for TBS.

According to a release, Reilly’s plan for TNT is “to sharpen the brand with a distinct slate of new programming aimed at a younger, more dual-gendered audience that expands the network’s presence in the cultural conversation.”

Aubrey is the co-owner of the prodco Film 44, which she runs with Peter Berg. Among the company’s unscripted credits are HBO’s sports docuseries On Freddie Roach and State of Play.

Meanwhile, over at TBS, Reilly plans to make the net “a destination for originals” and will also ramp up its digital and social media elements. Weitz is to lead the net’s expanding slate of original shows across all platforms.

The exec most recently served as senior VP of development for TBS and TNT. Weitz joined Turner Broadcasting in 2009 to work on original series development for TNT. Before joining the net, he served as VP of creative affairs for the Fox 21 Studios division of 20th Century Fox Television.

Elsewhere, Sandra Dewey – who was formerly executive VP and head of business affairs for Turner Entertainment Networks and Cartoon Network Originals – is being upped to president of TNT and TBS Productions and business affairs, where she will be responsible for running the company’s expanded in-house production arm.

In addition, Dewey will continue to lead business affairs and production for several nets within the Turner portfolio, including TNT, TBS, Cartoon Network, truTV and Turner Classic Movies (TCM).

All three executives are to report to Reilly.

“Over the next couple of years, we will continue to sharpen and evolve our brands by doubling down on original programming and being tenacious about our networks’ value proposition,” said Reilly in a statement.

“These leadership appointments are the important first step in that direction,” he continued. “With Sandra overseeing business affairs and our growing slate of in-house productions; Sarah joining us to make TNT originals even more distinct and valuable; and Brett focusing on both growing and further defining TBS originals, we have a great team of stewards to shepherd this transformation.”

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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