2:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Len Amato Exits as HBO Films, Cinemax and Miniseries President
HBO is losing another key executive.
HBO Films, Cinemax and miniseries president Len Amato is exiting the WarnerMedia-owned premium cable network after a 13-year run.
Sources say that while Amato is the latest executive to be consolidated out of the company, his departure comes as the business continues to change. HBO Films has scaled down its originals output in favor of more acquired content and after Cinemax exited the scripted business. Meanwhile, all drama programming — including scripted miniseries — will now be rolled under drama head Francesca Orsi. Tara Grace, senior vp at HBO Films, will continue to oversee the division and its acquisitions and now report to Orsi.
"I’ll always cherish my experience at HBO, not only because there was no higher standard to aspire to artistically in television, but because the artists and colleagues I worked with were incredibly talented, dedicated and inspirational," Amato said. "I learned a lot and am forever grateful for such a once in a lifetime opportunity."
Amato most recently expanded his purview to include HBO sibling Cinemax and miniseries after the March 2019 departure of Kary Antholis. Antholis' exit was the latest departure that came as part of the first wave of consolidation at WarnerMedia as the company began to tighten its purse strings and bring in a new regime under then-CEO John Stankey.
Originally a producer, Amato joined HBO in 2007 as senior vp HBO Films and oversaw scores of original HBO Films including Behind the Candelabra, Recount, Confirmation, Fahrenheit 451, The Normal Heart, Game Change, Temple Grandin and Grey Gardens, among several others. The division earned hundreds of Emmy nominations and scores of wins.
Amato leaves behind a slate that includes The White House Plumbers, directed by David Mandel and starring Woody Harrelson and Justin Theroux; and Landscapeers, from helmer Alexander Payne and toplined by Olivia Colman. He most recently oversaw David Simon's limited series The Plot Against America and played a key role in acquiring Emmy-nominated pic Bad Education, starring Hugh Jackman.
"Len’s dedication and passion for the craft have attracted some of the biggest names in creative talent,” HBO programming president Casey Bloys said. “His contributions over the years have played a critical role in some of our finest programming. We truly wish him the best as he starts this next chapter.”
Amato was among the last wave of executives to remain from the Richard Plepler era
Amato's exit arrives amid a massive consolidation at WarnerMedia under new CEO Jason Kilar. Last week, Kilar removed WarnerMedia direct to consumer chairman Bob Greenblatt and HBO Max content chief and president of TNT, TBS and TruTV Kevin Reilly as part of a restructuring that will see an estimated 600 staffers laid off. Under the changes, HBO's Bloys is adding oversight of content at streamer HBO Max as well as the three linear cable networks.
The changes arrive as the entertainment industry is experiencing significant changes amid the coronavirus pandemic as media giants weather massive financial losses and look to better position themselves for the streaming era.