Syndication veteran won't be replaced
HBO Domestic Distribution topper Scott Carlin is ankling the paybox.
Carlin, who most recently sold the off-net run of HBO comedies “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Entourage” to Tribune Broadcasting, won’t be replaced. With less product to be sold in the near future (as most of HBO’s more recent fare didn’t hit enough episodes to be syndicated), Carlin said the scope of his job had diminished.
“Things change, and looking down the horizon, what else was coming down the pipeline, it was a somewhat limited field,” Carlin said. “It takes HBO longer to produce shows than other networks, and this was not serving my ambitions, my interests. We were very honest with one another, and it seemed to make a lot of sense (to part ways).”
In an email to the channel’s staff, HBO Enterprises prexy Charles Schreger announced Carlin’s departure, and said the exec “leaves the Enterprises team well-positioned to continue to expand the company’s overall off-channel sales strategy.”
A syndie vet, Carlin first joined HBO in 2002 to oversee the sale of channel’s growing library to station groups and cable nets.
At HBO, Carlin secured a record-setting $2.5 million-per-episode deal with A&E for “The Sopranos” repeats. He also sold “Six Feet Under” to Bravo and “Band of Brothers” to History Channel, among other sales.
And in an innovative deal, Carlin established simultaneous, agreed-upon windows with both TBS and Tribune for “Sex and the City.”
“Clearly the ‘Sopranos’ sale will never be surpassed in this business, and that’s something I’m very proud of,” Carlin said.
Although Carlin won’t be replaced, Schreger said HBO “plans to continue to aggressively license its original programming in syndication and to cable networks,” especially given the recent success of “True Blood.”
As for Carlin, exec was mum on where he might end up, but said he’s looking to pursue something that reflects his evolving world view.
Carlin recently earned a master’s degree in spiritual psychology, and has been involved with the Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment, a new Hollywood group that is looking to provoke positive change in the world through entertainment properties.
“It’s a time in our country where we have a unique opportunity to do great entertainment programming that has meaning,” said Carlin, pointing to Oprah Winfrey’s upcoming OWN network. “I’ve become friends with a lot of outsiders who have keyed in on interesting people doing interesting things.”
Prior to HBO, Carlin had served as president of Digital Convergence, the new media company famous for its “Cue Cat” device. Before that, he spent 19 years at Warner Bros. Domestic TV Distribution, working his way up to exec VP of that and sister Telepictures Distribution.