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Jon Wax Joins Amazon Studios as Head of Genre Programming

YouTube’s head of scripted programming Jon Wax is joining Amazon Studios as its head of genre programming, Variety has learned.

Wax will take up the position recently vacated by Sharon Tal Yguado. He had joined YouTube in August 2017, heading up drama, unscripted and current programming for YouTube’s premium channel. Prior to that, he had spent four years at WGN America and Tribune Studios, and nearly 15 years at 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Broadcasting.

Variety and other outlets reported last month the Wax was in talks with Amazon for the position.

During his time at YouTube, the platform’s “Cobra Kai” series, featuring Ralph Macchio and William Zabka, rose to prominence and this week earned two Emmy nominations for stunt coordination for a comedy series or variety program. But original programming at the web video platform has also seen the cancellations of a number of shows, including “Champaign ILL,” “Sideswiped,” and “Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television.”

At Amazon, Wax will oversee a genre division that focuses on sci-fi, fantasy and genre series, including the forthcoming “Lord of the Rings” franchise. The studio made a multi-season production commitment to a series adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy novels in late 2017. J.A. Bayona has been tapped to direct two episodes of Amazon’s “Lord of the Rings” and executive produce the series with his producing partner Belén Atienza.

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