WarnerMedia Taps Lionsgate, Fox Veterans for Programming Team

Suzanna Makkos will lead creative development for comedy and animation, while Jennifer O'Connell will head up original non-fiction and kids programming.
Courtesy of WarnerMedia
Suzanna Makkos (left), Jennifer O'Connell

The WarnerMedia streaming service is bulking up its executive ranks. 

Fox Broadcasting veteran Suzanna Makkos is joining the yet-to-launch streamer to lead creative development for comedy and animation, and Lionsgate alum Jennifer O'Connell will head up original non-fiction and kids programming for the service. 

The streaming service has been staffing up since Turner's Kevin Reilly was tapped to lead content at the end of 2018. Makkos and O'Connell will both serve as executive vps at WarnerMedia and will report to Sarah Aubrey, who leads original content for the service.

Makkos was most recently executive vp comedy programming and development at Fox, where she oversaw the development of Bob's Burgers, The Mindy Project, The Last Man on Earth and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, among others. An animated Gremlins series in development for the service would likely fall under her purview.

O'Connell was previously executive vp alternative at Lionsgate and oversaw such programs at Chasing the Cure for TNT. She has also worked at NBCUniversal, Core Media Group, Disney Channel and Shed Media.  

WarnerMedia has yet to announce a launch date for its tiered streaming service, which will leverage library content from Warner Bros. TV, TNT, TBS, HBO and Cartoon Network along with original programming. It will enter a competitive market with Netflix, Amazon and Hulu already well established and other media giants, including Disney (which launches Disney+ in November), Apple (whose Apple TV+ is set for fall) and Comcast (a SVOD service is planned for 2020), all jockeying for consumers.

Bob Greenblatt, chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment and direct-to-consumer, told The Hollywood Reporter his goal for the streaming platform (and the company at large) is "in every aspect to be the most talent-friendly, talent-magnet company we can be. … I really want to push that agenda."