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Steve Mosko on Sony Departure: ‘It’s Been Brewing for a While’

Steve Mosko didn’t wait long to start talking about his exit from Sony Pictures Television.

“It’s been brewing for a while,” Mosko said Thursday. “The great thing is I’ve been at Sony for 24 years.”

Mosko appeared Thursday in a conversation with Indiewire executive editor and Variety editor at large Michael Schneider at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills.

As Variety first reported Wednesday, Mosko this week departed his role as chairman, Sony Pictures Television. In a reorganization laid out Thursday, U.S. programming and production co-presidents Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht will now oversee all production for the studio, reporting  directly to studio chief Michael Lynton, CEO of Sony Entertainment.

“I’m extremely proud of the work that was done there,” Mosko said. “It’s an amazing, amazing group of people there at Sony.”

He added, “You always go through times where you’re going through something and then you decide ‘No, it’s time to do something different.”

Mosko also shot down reports of tension between him and Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton.

“Working with him we’ve had a pretty good run together,” he said. “The one thing about Michael is he gave me complete autonomy. You don’t get that very often.”

Mosko came ready to joke about his departure, which surprised many in the industry. He talked about fielding a phone call Wednesday from actor Joel McHale, who told him “I just read the headline.” When Mosko asked what headline, McHale told him “You’re 60?”

When asked about his future plans, Mosko was adamant.

“Let me be clear about this — I’m not going away,” he said. “I’m just changing addresses. And I’m not becoming a director.”

He added, “I’m keeping my mind wide open to a lot of different opportunities. But I love television.”

Mosko spent the first few minutes of the conversation talking about his departure, but also looked back at his time at Sony. (Schneider jokingly referred to the conversation as Mosko’s “exit interview.”)

The exec spoke about the 2014 Sony hack, saying that it brought everyone in the company closer together. But he also talked about the unsettling nature of having his personal and professional lives intruded on.

“I would wake up in the morning and say ‘What’s going to happen today?'” he said. “That’s a horrible feeling.”

He also took a few victory laps.

“One of the things I’m most proud of about my time at Sony is that I was involved with the best comedy of all time with ‘Seinfeld,'” he said. “I was involved with the greatest TV drama of all time with ‘Breaking Bad.’ And I was involved with the greatest game shows of all time with ‘Wheel of Fortune’ and ‘Jeopardy.’”

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