The executive hierarchy of WarnerMedia’s upcoming direct-to-consumer offering has taken another step towards completion with the appointment HBO marketing EVP Chris Spadaccini (pictured) to marketing chief for AT&T-owned WarnerMedia Entertainment.
In the newly created role, Spadaccini will oversee all branding and content marketing for the as-yet-unnamed SVOD, which is expected to launch in a beta version for the US in the fourth quarter of 2019. He will also be responsible for the marketing initiatives of HBO, HBOGo, HBONow, TBS, TNT and truTV.
Spadaccini will report to WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer chairman, Bob Greenblatt, who was named to the position in March following a seven-year run as chairman of NBCUniversal. As a result of the move, TNT/TBS chief marketing officer and EVP Michael Engleman will transition out of the Turner company.
In his former marketing EVP role, Spadaccini led multi-platform brand and program marketing campaigns for HBO and Cinemax, as well as standalone streaming service HBONow and digital platforms HBOGo and HBO.com. Since joining HBO in 1999, the ex-VH1 exec has worked on marketing campaigns for some of HBO’s biggest shows including Game of Thrones and The Sopranos.
Spadaccini’s promotion mirrors a similar move by Disney when it picked its film marketing president Ricky Strauss to lead content and marketing for the company’s own streamer Disney+, which is launching on November 12 in the US.
WarnerMedia’s latest appointment also follows a wider reorg last month that saw Tony Goncalves, CEO of WarnerMedia Entertainment’s digital venture Otter Media, named development head for the upcoming streamer. Otter COO and former Hulu CEO Andy Forssell was also named EVP and GM for the service. Those changes led to the exit of WarnerMedia Entertainment’s EVP and GM for direct-to-consumer, Brad Bentley. The SVOD’s chief content officer Kevin Reilly remains in his current position.
For kids appointments, the media conglom recently hired Jennifer O’Connell as EVP of original non-fiction and kids, and Suzanna Makkos as EVP of original comedy and animation for the SVOD. Both will report to WarnerMedia’s original content head, Sarah Aubrey.
There is no word on whether the two are working with Peter Roth, the CCO of Warner Bros. Television Group and the interim leader for WarnerMedia’s kids and young adults group. Following Kevin Tsujihara’s departure in March, Warner Bros. is still looking for a new CEO and head of kids and young adult for WarnerMedia.
With files from Alexandra Whyte