WME is bolstering its business development ranks, enlisting Warner Bros. TV business affairs veteran Dan Limerick as head of TV business affairs.
The announcement of Limerick’s appointment comes just hours after WBTV said the exec would be departing the company.
With Limerick on board, Catherine Sugar, a 17-year WME vet who previously headed business affairs, is shifting to a new role as WME’s head of business affairs for global TV.
Both exec appointments come as WME/IMG revs up an ambitious expansion plan to broaden the company’s reach with a host of production and distribution initiatives, from film financing to event production to traditional TV program development and distribution.
Mark Shapiro, the former head of ESPN and Dick Clark Prods., is leading the charge as IMG’s New York-based chief content officer. He oversees a clutch of development teams with the mantra of diversifying the company’s operations around the globe, using the potent combo of WME’s relationships with top talent and IMG’s production and distribution infrastructure. Since WME acquired in IMG in early 2014, the company has also been in acquisition mode for content generating assets such as the Professional Bull Riders league and more recently, the Miss Universe beauty pageant franchise from the Trump Organization.
Both of those entities hit IMG’s sweet spot of both event management — everything from ticketing and event sponsorship to TV programming derived from those events.
With all this activity, it’s no surprise WME would look to beef up its bench on the business affairs front. Limerick will oversee dealmaking in the areas of scripted, unscripted and digital programming.
Sugar will now work with WME’s international TV group, focusing on international packaging and distribution operations. WME recently tapped IMG’s infrastructure to handle some international TV sales for the upcoming AMC/BBC miniseries “The Night Manager” on behalf of its client the Ink Factory, producer of the spy thriller starring Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddleston.