Warren Schlichting, president of Dish Network’s Sling TV over-the-top division who also oversaw ad sales and programming deals, is no longer with the company. His exit comes after Dish reported a net loss of 375,000 Sling TV customers over the last two quarters.
Schlichting, a nearly nine-year Dish veteran, had been named head of the Sling TV group in December 2017. In his most recent role, the exec also oversaw acquisition and renewal deals for all programming content for Dish TV and Sling TV and advertising sales for both groups.
Taking over as head of Sling TV is Michael Schwimmer, who returned to Dish in June 2019 to lead international business development and strategy. Kevin Arrix, senior VP of Dish Media Sales, will now report to Schwimmer; Arrix will continue to be responsible for the company’s advertising sales, analytics and operations.
Dish’s satellite TV business has been in decline the last several years — hurt by cord-cutting. In 2015, it launched Sling TV in 2015, hoping the internet-delivered pay TV package would offset those losses. In the fourth quarter of 2019, Dish posted Sling TV’s first-ever sub declines, with a net loss of 94,000 accounts. That accelerated in Q1, as Sling TV shed 281,000 customers. As of March 31, Sling TV had 2.31 million customers, down 4.7% from a year earlier.
Under Schlichting, Sling TV launched several free promotions during the COVID-19 pandemic to try to win new subscribers. In an interview in April, the exec said about the Sling TV giveaways, “I don’t know where this is going to land,” and said that within the company, “we’re either going to win a lot of friends or get thrown off the end of the boat.”
Prior to heading up Sling TV, Schlichting served as Dish’s EVP of marketing, programming and media sales. Prior to joining Dish in 2011, he worked at Comcast for nine years, most recently leading the operator’s advanced advertising efforts on multiple media and ad delivery platforms including broadband, interactive television and video-on-demand. Before Comcast, he was CEO of Hiwire and served in executive positions for Morgan Stanley and the William E. Simon private equity group.
Also Monday, Dish announced several other appointments: Dave Mayo has joined the team as EVP, network development; Jeff Blum has been promoted to EVP, external and legislative affairs; and John Swieringa has been named group president, retail wireless, retaining his duties as Dish chief operating officer.