AT&T’s Warner Media has shifted oversight of Otter Media to Bob Greenblatt, head of the media company’s entertainment and direct-to-consumer operations.
The motivation for the realignment, the company said, is to unite Otter’s digital properties (among them Fullscreen, Rooster Teeth and Crunchyroll) with the full portfolio of TV and film content brands ahead of the launch of WarnerMedia’s streaming service. The streaming offering is slated to roll out in beta before year-end and more fully in early 2020.
AT&T was an original investor in Otter, which was launched by Peter Chernin after his tenure ended at 21st Century Fox and he embarked on an entrepreneurial career chapter focused on digital media. Last summer, AT&T acquired Chernin’s controlling stake in Otter and then put it in the portfolio of former Warner Bros. chief Kevin Tsujihara, who left the company in March.
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As part of the reorganization, Tony Goncalves, CEO of Otter Media, will now also lead the development of the new
WarnerMedia direct-to-consumer service, along with Otter’s existing brands and services. He will report to Greenblatt. Longtime Otter exec Brad Bentley, who was serving as the streaming service’s general manager, will now exit.
Andy Forssell, most recently COO of Otter Media and former CEO of Hulu, will move to the role of EVP and General Manager of the new streaming service reporting to Goncalves. Kevin Reilly, who was recently minted as president of TBS, TNT and TruTV and also serves as content chief for the streaming service, will remain in that position reporting to Greenblatt.
“As we continue to build out our new streaming business and realign WarnerMedia functions, this step will facilitate further scale and focus in our efforts to offer customers an engaging and compelling product experience,” WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey said. “I’m confident that with Tony and Andy leading our product and operations, Kevin and HBO’s Casey Bloys guiding our content strategy, and with Bob at the helm, we have a formidable team creating a curated streaming service with a winning combination of content and features. I also want to thank Brad for his leadership in bringing the project to this point in record time.”
Greenblatt added, “The thriving Otter Media businesses are important to this company and I’m happy to welcome Tony and Andy to our direct-to-consumer team. This group’s expertise will be invaluable to our new streaming service as we aim to bring content from the best storytellers in the world to an audience that expects the highest
quality digital experience.”