Jack Horner, who has parried with Hollywood beat writers for five and a half years as chief spokesman for Warner Bros.’s motion picture group, is transitioning to a new role at the studio. The veteran spin-master will focus on broader communications and strategy. He will continue to report to communications chief Dee Dee Myers and will work closely with Paul McGuire, another old corporate communications hand.
The move is part of a larger reorganization of the motion picture group. Newly minted film chief Toby Emmerich has decided to bring in his own communications person. Horner’s replacement has yet to be announced, but is expected to be unveiled shortly.
“This move is reflective of the company’s recent initiative on internal mobility, as well as Jack’s desire to take on new challenges and expand his skill set,” Myers said in an internal email to staff. “Jack has done a terrific job for the Pictures Group, and I know he’ll bring that same level of commitment and determination to this new role.”
Horner’s tenure has coincided with a dramatic period at Warner Bros.; his stint on the front lines has spanned three different regimes. Horner was hired by studio chief Jeff Robinov in 2012, endured Robinov’s fiery departure in 2013, and persisted under a three-headed hydra of a leadership structure that had production chief Greg Silverman, marketing head Sue Kroll, and then-New Line chief Emmerich all calling the shots. Last year, Emmerich was elevated to the top job at the film studio. Kroll and Silverman were both ousted at different points. Silverman started a new content company called Stampede Ventures and Kroll has become a producer on such films as “Motherless Brooklyn” and “A Star is Born.”
Throughout the often tumultuous period, Horner managed overall business and trade press communications — a grab bag of responsibilities that included production, marketing, legal, and distribution matters. Horner worked on all of the studio’s biggest franchises and collaborated with several A-list filmmakers and other talent on the theatrical roll-outs of their films.
Before joining Warner Bros., Horner previously served as VP of corporate affairs and corporate communications for News Corp., where he helped orchestrate the company’s response to the phone hacking scandal that resulted in the closure of News of the World.
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