Sony Pictures Entertainment is acting locally in an effort to think more globally when it comes to TV production.
Studio has streamlined the management of its domestic and international TV divisions under the leadership of Sony Pictures Television prexy Steve Mosko.
Studio vet Michael Grindon will continue as prexy of Sony Pictures Television Intl., but he will report to Mosko rather than to Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman and CEO Michael Lynton and co-chairman Amy Pascal. The international division will operate under Sony Pictures Television to signal the unified structure to worldwide buyers.
Lynton and Pascal called the move an effort to focus the studio’s television efforts more broadly on programming with worldwide appeal. Most of Hollywood’s majors have their domestic and international TV wings reporting to a single uber-TV exec.
Lynton cited the “new age of internationalization” as the impetus for melding the divisions more closely together, as Sony has done on the film side with its marketing and distrib operations.
“Now there will be a natural flow of information between the divisions that will enable us to move more quickly,” Mosko said. “When we’re looking at new opportunities, we’ll be asking the question, ‘Does this have a global application?’ Not every decision will be dictated by that, but it will be something we ask ourselves on the first pass.”
Sony in the past year has moved to expand its efforts in the growing global market for adaptable unscripted TV show formats, acquiring Dutch production shingle 2waytraffic and Michael Davies’ Embassy Row banner.
As part of the consolidation, the combined staffers of its domestic and international TV units will move in the fall into offices now under construction on Sony’s Culver City lot. There will likely be some consolidation of business and administrative functions between the two units, but wholesale layoffs are not expected.
Mosko is a Sony vet who joined the studio in 1992 as a syndie sales exec and was upped to domestic TV prexy in 2001. He inked a four-year extension as head of the domestic TV operation last summer (Daily Variety, July 31). Pascal cited Mosko’s track record in taking “a division that was virtually on life support not too many years ago and turning it into a strong and growing business for our studio.”
Grindon has been prexy of the international TV unit since 1995. He joined Sony Pictures’ predecessor, Columbia Pictures, as an international TV sales exec in 1986.