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As expected, Warner Bros. Television Group president Bruce Rosenblum will exit after more than 20 years with the studio, while Peter Roth, president of Warner Bros. Television, will be promoted to report directly to studio chief Kevin Tsujihara, a source confirms.
As The Hollywood Reporter previously reported, the fiercely ambitious Rosenblum was not expected to survive following a grinding two-year bake-off that pitted him against Tsujihara (and, too a lesser degree, film studio president Jeff Robinov) to succeed outgoing Warner chairman Barry Meyer.
Meanwhile, Roth was said to be angling for a promotion. “Peter is not power-crazed,” one industry source told THR in March, while noting that Roth did want a direct report to Tsujihara. “He loves developing television shows.”
Warners has a powerhouse television operation with hits including The Big Bang Theory, and Rosenblum was known as an exceptionally tough deal-maker immersed in the studio’s business in advance of the upfronts even as it was clear that his days were numbered. Roth’s strength is not on the business side, so as THR suggested in March, Tsujihara will pair him with Jeff Schlesinger, who oversees international TV sales, and Rosenblum’s No. 2, Craig Hunegs.
It is unclear where in the industry there might be an opening for an executive of Rosenblum’s stature. There has been speculation that he might initiate a venture of his own, possibly in combination with Time Warner (not reporting to Tsujihara). He is also chairman of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Meanwhile, industry observers have been keeping close watch on the relationship between Tsujihara and Robinov. After a rough start to the year with flops including Gangster Squad and New Line’s Jack the Giant Slayer, Robinov has kicked off what could be a strong summer with a $51 million opening this weekend from Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby. With such success — and the need to maintain stability at Warner in the wake of Rosenblum’s exit, Robinov would appear to be in a position of some strength, though his contract expires at the end of the year.
A Warners spokeman told THR, “As a matter of policy, we do not comment on rumors, speculation or personnel matters related to our company or its employees.”
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