Schlesinger is president of Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Distribution, which will now handle global sales of HBO Enterprises and Turner’s U.S. live-action and animation titles.
The new structure also sees HBO Home Entertainment transferring to Warner Bros. Worldwide Home Entertainment under the leadership of its president, Jim Wuthrich.
Sources said the changes are not expected to result in job losses. They were announced in a memo to staff on Wednesday afternoon from Gerhard Zeiler, whose overall responsibilities as chief revenue officer include WarnerMedia Networks affiliate sales and ad sales.
“As you would expect, there have been conversations about improving the cooperation within WarnerMedia to enhance scale and drive home commercial and organizational benefits,” he said in the memo, which was obtained by Variety. “We bring these businesses together under one roof to focus on retaining and growing revenue. Scale matters and acting as one will strengthen our position in an increasingly challenging marketplace.”
The rejig comes ahead of the LA Screenings, where international buyers congregate to see the latest fare from the studios. Acquisitions execs are still waiting to see what Warner Bros and Disney will have on offer this year and for which territories, as they prepare to launch their own streaming services.
WarnerMedia confirmed the changes. Longtime Warner Bros. sales chief Schlesinger said: “For the first time at our company, the diverse and unparalleled portfolio of genre-defining new and library programming created by HBO, Warner Bros. and Turner will be distributed globally by one group.”
Zeiler, who knows the international business well from his time at the helm of Turner outside the U.S., had already notified staff of an interim structure. Further changes are expected soon.