The kudo recognizes television industry leaders who have made a significant contribution to the global business of entertainment. Salke will receive the award, presented by Variety and Mipcom, on Oct. 18 as part of her keynote conversation at the Palais de Festivals, moderated by Variety co-editor in chief Cynthia Littleton.
“Jennifer Salke has steered Amazon Studios growth into a powerhouse player in the content business,” said Michelle Sobrino-Stearns, CEO and group publisher of Variety. “She has had an undeniable track record of success throughout her career, and she is one of the highest-ranking women in an industry that still has a long way to go toward gender parity in the C-suites.”
Salke is approaching her fifth year at the helm of Amazon Studios, responsible for all aspects of series and film development, production and acquisitions for the global entertainment division. Salke, a NBC and 20th Century Fox Television alum, has dramatically expanded the volume and scope of Amazon’s production operation since she took the helm as studios chief in February 2018. At present, Amazon Studios is gearing up for the biggest swing of Salke’s tenure, the global launch of “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” on Sept. 2.
The respected development executive led Amazon Studios to its first comedy series Emmy win with its much-lauded comedy series “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and released acclaimed titles such as the Emmy-winning comedy “Fleabag,” “The Terminal List,” “Reacher,” “Wheel of Time,” “Harlem,” “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” and Emmy-nominated “The Boys” and “Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls.” Movie launches under her tenure include “Sound of Metal,” “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” “Coming 2 America,” “Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse,” “The Tomorrow War,” “Being the Ricardos” and the recent Emmy-nominated documentary “Lucy and Desi.”
Salke came to Amazon Studios after seven years at NBC Entertainment. She led the creative vision in restoring NBC’s luster with hits such as “The Blacklist,” “Chicago Fire,” “This Is Us” and “The Good Place.” She also steered Universal Television during her purview.
Before NBC, Salke spent nine years leading development at 20th Century Fox TV, where she shepherded such hits as “Modern Family,” “Glee,” “Prison Break” and “Bones.”
Earlier in her career, Salke worked for Aaron Spelling Productions and for Columbia TriStar Television.
Past recipients of the Variety Vanguard Award include RuPaul Charles, creator, star and executive producer of the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” franchise; former HBO chief Richard Plepler; Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel; and former 20th Century Fox Television Distribution chief Marion Edwards.