For the second time in that many months, a top TV programming job has opened that is bringing up the names of some of the TV business’ most accomplished female executives.
NBCUniversal’s head of TV and streaming content post ultimately went to Warner Bros. TV President Susan Rovner. Now her vacant WBTV position is attracting attention, with the Hollywood rumor mill in overdrive who may succeed her. Adding to the intrigue is the fact that, while Rovner held the job, she had been in line to succeed Peter Roth as head of the entire Warner Bros. TV operation.
The names that have been circulating for the past couple of weeks include Channing Dungey, VP and head of drama at Netflix; Amy Israel EVP, Scripted Programming, Showtime Networks; and UCP President Dawn Olmstead. According to sources, there are no formal conversations, and there is no indication any of the executives, who are all employed elsewhere, would be interested in the job.
Word is that Israel, who is under contract at Showtime, would likely continue at the premium cable network. The situation is a little different with Dungey and Olmstead as recent executive realignments at their companies, which changed the reporting structures, put them in play. Former ABC Entertainment President Dungey, who reportedly had been approached for the NBCU job that went to Rovner, used to report to former head of content Cindy Holland, who exited Netflix last month. Dungey is now reporting to Bela Bajaria, who was named Global Head of TV. At NBCU, Olmstead reported to Bonnie Hammer, who was named Vice CHairman, and now reports to former Universal TV President Pearlena Igbokwe, who was promoted To lead NBCU’s global TV studio operation. Every time there are executive shakeups, there is a high probability of executives leaving, which likely is fueling speculation about Dungey and Olmstead as potential candidates for the WBTV job.
The highest profile TV executive who is on the market right now is Holland, who led Netflix’s foray into original programming and helped turn the DVD-by-mail company into an original series powerhouse. Her shocking exit triggered a guessing game what she would do as her next act. While was mentioned for the WBTV position early on, there has been a lot of chatter recently about her possibly joining Apple TV+, bringing her extensive streaming experience to one of the upstarts in the field. According to sources, there have been no formal talks, and Holland is said to be taking time to explore her options. Set for life by the value of her Netflix stock as one of the first executives at the company, Holland does not need another job and is expected to take on something that gets her creative juices flowing. I hear starting a business and being entrepreneurial is something that she has indicated she would be interested in.