Wright man for job at Turner
To head programming at TBS, TNT and TCM in unit restructuringMichael Wright has been promoted to executive vp/head of programming at Turner networks TBS, TNT and TCM as part of a restructuring of the programming division.
In addition, Phil Oppenheim has been upped to senior vp program planning and scheduling at TBS and TNT, and Lillah McCarthy was promoted to senior vp original programming at TBS and TNT. Both will report to Wright in a move that effectively consolidates original programming, program planning and scheduling into one division.
Wright will continue to be based in Los Angeles, overseeing all original programming for TBS, TNT and TCM, with the added responsibility of overseeing program planning and scheduling for TBS and TNT.
Wright, who joined Turner in 2002, most recently was senior vp in charge of Turner Entertainment Networks' Content Creation Group, responsible for all original programming and original digital content for TNT, TBS and TCM. His promotion comes on the heels of the successful debut of the new TNT series "Leverage," which bowed with 5 million viewers Sunday, and ahead of the series premiere of "Trust Me," starring Eric McCormack and Tom Cavanagh.
"Michael Wright has proven himself to be one of the most talented executives in the industry, solidifying TNT's and TBS' reputations as major players when it comes to original programming," Turner Entertainment Networks president Steve Koonin said.
Wright added that the restructuring represents current efforts to ramp up TNT's original programming, which will be followed in the next couple years by an increase in TBS' original programming. The restructuring also will allow for more cohesive programming efforts across TNT, TBS and TCM, he said.
"All parts of the Turner Entertainment Networks portfolio will now be put through the same filter -- original programming, acquisitions -- and will be informing one another and working together to expand the reach of the networks," Wright said.
Oppenheim was vp programming at TNT and TBS, helping with various aspects of programming including strategy, acquisition selection and scheduling, as well as new media/Internet development. He also was instrumental in helping launch TCM.
McCarthy was vp series programming for the networks, focusing on the development and production of new comedy series for TBS and new drama series for TNT. She oversaw the development of such series as TNT's "Saving Grace," "Raising the Bar," "Leverage" and "Trust Me" and TBS' "The Bill Engvall Show" and "Frank TV."