Smith, Wankel take Shubert reins

Co. owns or operates 17 Broadway theaters

Philip J. Smith and Robert E. Wankel will take the reins of the Shubert Organization, the company that owns or operates 17 of the 39 Broadway theaters.

The two longtime veterans of the org, one of the most influential entities on the Rialto, have been upped following the sudden death of chairman Gerald Schoenfeld last week.

Smith, who had been prexy of the Shubert Org since 1996, becomes chairman and co-chief executive of the org. New title for Wankel — who has been with the Shuberts for 33 years, most recently as exec VP and chief financial officer — is prexy and co-chief executive.

Smith also becomes chairman of the board of the Shubert Foundation, the nonprofit company that supports the performing arts. Wankel becomes a member of the board of directors of the Shubert Foundation and the Shubert Org.

The foundation is the sole shareholder of the org.

Besides being a landlord of venues in Gotham and beyond, the org, the commercial side of the company, has acted as a producer on a string of legit offerings including “Amadeus,” “Cats,” “Dreamgirls” and “Passing Strange.” It also operates the dominant Broadway ticketing service, Telecharge.

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