Sony Chief Faces Tough Task in Replacing Departed TV Executives

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Tony Vinciquerra

Tony Vinciquerra says he's in no rush to replace Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, who left the studio June 15 to take positions at Apple.

Ten days into his new job as Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO, Tony Vinciquerra hit his first major challenge: find someone to run Sony Pictures Television, which accounted for 90 percent of SPE's overall profit in 2016.

Speaking with THR on June 16, the day after Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg departed for Apple, Vinciquerra said he's in no rush to replace them. "For the short term, I'm not going to look at all. I'm going to sit in the chair myself and get to know people there," he said.

Among possible internal candidates are worldwide networks president Andy Kaplan, drama execs Jason Clodfelter and Chris Parnell, and comedy head Glenn Adilman. Alternatively, Vinciquerra could turn to former colleagues like The Jackal Group's Gail Berman, with whom he worked at Fox Networks Group; former FX programmer and recently departed WGN America president Matt Cherniss, and longtime friend and Studio 8 topper Katherine Pope. Vinciquerra downplays such speculation: "These jobs are few and far between — and very attractive. I'm sure there will be plenty of choices."

But as the development season for the broadcast networks heats up with no clear successor, top agents and executives say it's important to fill the role soon and with an experienced hand. "Tony is not on my call sheet, and nobody has ever dealt with him," notes one lit agent. "[Who is going to manage] a $100 million roster in three weeks and start to pitch?"

This story first appeared in the June 21 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.