Village Roadshow Entertainment Group has named former Sony Pictures TV boss Steve Mosko as its CEO, as the production and financing company looks to further push into TV and streaming. Bruce Berman, currently Village Roadshow Pictures Entertainment chairman and CEO, will remain in his position and report to Mosko.
As part of the announcement Thursday, Village Roadshow said Greg Basser, the current CEO who co-founded VREG and Village Roadshow Pictures 20 years ago this month, is stepping down to pursue other opportunities. He will remain as a consultant for Perfect Village Entertainment, the company’s film and TV production venture in China with Perfect World Pictures and WME-IMG that launched last year.
The moves come after VREG in April 2017 sold a controlling interest to then-financial partners Vine Alternative Investments and Falcon Investment Advisors. Vine CEO Jim Moore took over as chairman, with the goal to grow the company by increasing its content offerings and expanding its library. Mosko, who arrived after a board of directors search led by his former fellow Sony exec Peter Schlessel, will now report to VREG’s board.
“Steve’s track record of success combined with his tenure in the industry and breadth of understanding of the current and future television landscape makes him the ideal executive to execute on our strategy and lead the company on a day-to-day basis,” Moore said in today’s announcement. “While VREG is committed to existing partners such as Warner Bros, with Steve at the helm we are excited to accelerate the company’s diversification into content creation across platforms to meet the evolving technologies that are changing the way people consume entertainment content. We appreciate the long-standing contributions that Greg has made to VREG and look forward to his counsel as we pursue our strategy in China.”
Mosko has been figuring out his next step after exiting Sony Pictures TV in June 2016, ending a 24-year run turning the division into a major profit driver there. In his capacity he oversaw global television production, distribution of feature film and television content, and the studio’s international networks in 180 countries. His portfolio there included SPE’s premium video streaming service Crackle and cable network GSN.
Earlier this year, Deadline reported that Mosko and Jeff Robinov were talking about a partnership, with several meetings and trips to New York. That news came after he had reportedly been in talks for a key role at Sinclair Media.
“It’s a great time to be in the content creation space, and Village Roadshow is the place to be,” Mosko said. “The company not only possesses the legacy of a great library, original IP and strong distribution relationships with partners such as Warner Bros, but also has the combined backing of Vine and Falcon who understand the commitment it takes to foster an environment where creative talent can thrive. I can’t wait to get started.”
On the film side, Village Roadshow in June via its partnership with Warner Bros released its 100th film globally, Ocean’s 8. It grossed $296.9 million worldwide. It also teamed with Warners in March on Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, which grossed $582.2M worldwide. Past titles that now fill its library include The Matrix, Sherlock Holmes and Ocean’s franchises, American Sniper, and George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road and Happy Feet.
Basser, the Aussie who helped oversee VREG’s public listing in 1988, also forged the establishment of Golden Village, Warner Village and other Village cinema circuits in 21 countries, as well as the Austereo radio network. He was named CEO in 2000.
“I am extremely proud of what we have built at VREG over the past 20 years exemplified by this year’s release of Ocean’s 8, the 100th global release by the company,” said Basser, who the company said will announce a new media and entertainment business venture shortly. “I would like to thank the VREG board and all the staff whether in L.A., Melbourne and Beijing for their fantastic support over many years and wish Steve, Bruce, Vine, Village Roadshow and Falcon all the best as they embark on their own new and exciting journey.”