Just days before the 2016 Emmy Awards, Television Academy Chairman and CEO Bruce Rosenblum accepted a position at Disney/ABC Television Group.
Rosenblum, a veteran and well-regarded TV executive who spent 26 years at Warner Bros., will serve in the newly created position of president of business operations to increase growth, efficiency and innovation across broadcast and cable properties.
He’ll report to Disney Media Networks Co-Chairman and Disney/ABC Television Group President Ben Sherwood, who revealed the news on Friday.
While Disney/ABC wasn’t initially considering Rosenblum for the position, once he expressed interest after finding out about it through a recruiter, Sherwood jumped at the opportunity to bring him on board.
“We were looking internally and externally at a number of terrific candidates,” Sherwood said. “ I was flagged that Bruce had put his hand up and was interested. We hadn’t actually had him on the radar for this role, so we met for a burger not far from the lot and started a conversation. That conversation carried on over the last two months and came together over the last few weeks.”
The position, Sherwood told the Hollywood Reporter will involve building revenue for Disney/ABC, focusing especially on navigating the rapid change in consumer content consumption, distribution and technology.
“I’d like to see more revenue, more relevance for the consumer, new and creative advertising products for clients, and more data-driven targeting and directly-inserted advertising into the people’s various feeds and streams,” Sherwood said. “That’s basically the kitchen sink. That’s the wish list.”
Rosenblum will have direct oversight and responsibility for all aspects of Disney/ABC business operations, including global distribution, affiliate sales and marketing, digital media, strategy and business development; media operations, engineering and IT. and consumer insights. He will also jointly oversee all ad sales aspects for the organization alongside each business unit leader, according to a company press release.
“What I see the responsibility being,” Rosenblum told the Hollywood Reporter, is maximizing revenue opportunities, finding efficient and effective ways of expanding existing revenue streams and finding new ones; with our great, existing executives, to expand distribution opportunists; to look towards the digital space and find more opportunity to connect more directly with the consumer — from both a programming and targeted advertising standpoint. Ideally, we want to create new direct-to-consumer digital platforms moving forward.”
He starts Monday, right after the Emmys.
“I’ve taken the last six months [off] since I left Legendary,” he said, laughing. “I’m fired up and ready to get back to work. I promised Ben I wouldn’t stay at the HBO party for too long on Sunday night, so I could get here for work by 8:30 on Monday morning.”
Rosenblum most recently served as president of Legendary Television and Digital Media where he led programming across multiple platforms, and the development of multi-platform digital distribution opportunities for broadband, mobile and emerging technologies.
His second-term volunteer role as chairman and CEO of the TV academy also ends in December.
Prior to Legendary, Rosenblum served for 26 years at Warner Bros. from 2005 through 2013. As president of Warner Bros. Television Group, he oversaw the company’s entire television portfolio, including Warner Bros. Television, Warner Horizon Television, Telepictures, Warner Bros. Animation, Alloy Entertainment, Warner Bros. Domestic and International Television Distribution, Marketing and Ad Sales, and Warner Bros.’ co-ownership of the CW Broadcast Network.
“I think our shared desire is to grow our television business worldwide, make our organization faster, smarter and better,” Sherwood said. “Bruce’s proven track record as a leader and an innovative deal maker and his interpersonal skills across the television and media world made us think he’s the perfect leader for this moment at Disney-ABC. We’ve got a great team here, and Bruce will make us even better.”
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READ MORE: Hollywood Reporter