12:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
TNT, TBS and TruTV Head of Originals Thom Hinkle Exits (Exclusive)
Thom Hinkle is on the move.
The rising star executive, who most recently oversaw originals at TNT, TBS and TruTV, has departed WarnerMedia following a nearly seven-year run. In his place, the company has promoted senior vp originals Sam Linsky and Adrienne O'Riain to serve as head of originals for the three basic cable networks, reporting to TNT, TBS and TruTV GM Brett Weitz. Details about why Hinkle opted to leave or where he's going next were not immediately available.
In their new roles, the duo will oversee all three networks' scripted content. Linsky will work also work directly with Weitz and other company leaders to develop and execute strategic planning and programming initiatives.
"Sam and Adrienne make a great team," Weitz said. "They are smart, strategic and dedicated creative executives who deliver ratings powerhouses and award winners, while also consistently rising to new challenges with striking results. As we continue to evolve our brands, the importance of our scripted originals can’t be overstated. I am confident we are in the best possible hands under their stewardship."
Hinkle started with the then Turner-owned TBS in 2013, when he was hired to run comedy for the cable network that is now home to syndicated repeats of Big Bang Theory and Friends and scripted originals including The Last O.G. and Claws. Hinkle, like Weitz, rose quickly through the ranks and, last October, expanded his purview to oversee scripted originals at TNT and TruTV alongside TBS, while Weitz was tapped as GM of all three brands.
For his part, former senior vp originals Linsky recently celebrated his 25th anniversary with the company. He started at TNT in 1997 as an assistant to the vp of originals. During his time at the drama-focused network, he had a hand in developing series including Southland, The Closer, Men of a Certain Age, Major Crimes and, more recently, Snowpiercer.
"It is an honor to be leading such an inspiring and creative group of people and to be able to continue my strong and successful relationships throughout WarnerMedia while working with Brett and Adrienne across these networks,” said Linsky. “I have seen many evolutions of this company in my 25-year tenure, and the work that is being done by our teams now is truly remarkable.”
For her part, O’Riain — whose formal title, like Linsky, will be senior vp originals — joined the company in 2011 and has helped launch series including Miracle Workers: Dark Ages, Good Behavior, The Last Ship and Dallas.
“I’ve loved being part of the evolution of these brands over the years, and working with a team that is endlessly creative, and always striving to be passionate supporters of talent,” said O’Riain. “I am thrilled to take on new responsibilities, and to expand our slate of scripted programming alongside Brett and Sam.”
The news arrives as WarnerMedia has consolidated executive teams after TruTV president Chris Linn opted to depart the cable network in May 2019. Kevin Reilly oversees all of WarnerMedia's basic cable networks and streamer HBO Max. Weitz reports directly to Reilly.
Linsky and O'Riain inherit a slate of scripted originals that includes TBS' Miracle Workers, Chad, The Last O.G. andAmerican Dad. The duo take over the post as many basic cable networks are contracting amid their parent companies' shift to focus on streaming platforms and dwindling live viewership.