The ascension of Barry Meyer to the top corporate post in charge of film and TV at Warner Bros. is now regarded as a fait accompli on the Warner Bros. lot. And while the quiet, well-liked Meyer is viewed as a probable successor to Bob Daly and Terry Semel, the structure of his job and of the executives who would report to him are very much subject to speculation. “The feeling is that Meyer will be the key administrative officer in charge of film and television, and that this marks the end of the mogul school of management,” observed one senior studio executive.
An attorney by training, Meyer, 56, has been responsible for oversight of the studio’s TV activities, holding the title of executive vice president since 1984 and chief operating officer of the studio since ’94. All of the various executives running the WB Network, production, syndication and other TV activities have reported to him in that role.
Under a possible new corporate structure, the music division, which formerly reported to Daly and Semel, would be split off. Theoretically, the creative and administrative heads of the various film and TV divisions would henceforth report to Meyer, establishing “a sense of accountability,” as one studio executive put it.
At a company known for its flashy, free-spending personalities, Meyer is low-key and methodical, colleagues point out. “He is the solid corporate player, not the wannabe mogul,” said one.
A spokesman for the studio insisted no deal involving a new post for Meyer had been finalized.