Amazon Studios Boss Jennifer Salke to Oversee MGM

Amazon Studios boss Jennifer Salke will now also oversee MGM, effective immediately.

Alongside her duties as head of Amazon Studios, Salke will also oversee MGM Scripted television and film, as well as creative marketing and distribution. Assisting her will be Chris Brearton, who will now serve as vice president, PVS corporate strategy, overseeing the streaming servince MGM+ (formerly Epix) and MGM Alternative Television.

“I wanted to say how proud I am to be named the head of Amazon and MGM Studios,” Salk said in a memo to employees. “It is a privilege to lead a team of such immensely talented people. We have such an exciting opportunity ahead of us as we continue to build out our best-in-class studios and entertain even more people all over the world.”

Salke also announced a new leadership structure at MGM after Monday’s exit of TV group chairman Mark Burnett (MGM’s movie chiefs Mike De Luca and Pamela Abdy had left earlier this year to head of Warner Bros. film studio). Amazon Television’s Vernon Sanders will oversee scripted MGM television alongside Lindsay Sloane and Rola Bauer. AOM team boss Julia Rapaport will head up MGM film. Dan Scharf will oversee MGM business operations and casting, music and production.

Amazon Studios marketing head Sue Kroll will perform the same role for MGM, with chief marketing officer Stephen Bruno reporting to her. Brade Beale will oversee content licensing with Chris Ottinger reporting to him. And United Artists Releasing theatrical distribution head Erik Lomis will report directly to Salke.

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The news of Salke’s new duties was announced in a memo to employees by Amazon senior vice president Mike Hopkins. Read that memo below:

Hi team,

Nearly nine months ago when we acquired MGM, we said we would take a thoughtful and measured approach to the integration process. It was important to take the time to ensure the right people were in the right jobs for maximum collaboration, creativity, and innovation. We have made many important decisions during this time, and now have completed the essential work of setting up our organizational structure. I am pleased to share that effective immediately, Jennifer Salke will become head of Amazon and MGM Studios, adding oversight of MGM scripted television and film, distribution, and creative marketing. Additionally, I’d like to welcome Chris Brearton, who will take on a new role, VP, PVS Corporate Strategy, MGM+ and MGM Alternative Television.

Jen’s outstanding reputation in the creative community has earned her the respect of Hollywood’s top talent throughout the industry. With Jen now having oversight of both studios – along with distribution and all creative marketing – creatives will have a single point of entry for the opportunity to showcase their content across all our platforms. Serving the creative community in this way will streamline and enhance the creative process, expand our growing stable of content, and strongly reinforce Jen’s commitment to being the home for talent.

Chris Brearton has been running the business of MGM and leading its integration into Prime Video and Amazon Studios. In his new role, he will lead business planning and corporate strategy for PVS. He will also oversee MGM+ and MGM Alternative, where he will be responsible for accelerating the rebrand and spearheading the growth of the MGM + premium service, while also working closely with the seasoned MGM unscripted television team to continue their legacy of megahits, such as Survivor, Shark Tank and The Voice. Brearton will report to me and join my senior leadership team, effective immediately.

I appreciate all of the work on this integration and believe we are now better positioned to deliver on our ambitious vision with very best leaders at the helm. Throughout this process you have continued to deliver great entertainment to customers around the world. We released three MGM film titles to direct-to-streaming (DTS) releases on PV including Thirteen Lives, Anything Is Possible, and Samaritan, and the critically lauded theatrical releases of Till and Bones & All. We partnered on celebrating the 60th anniversary of the 007 franchise in October 2022.

We have new quality storytelling to bring to our customers in the coming weeks with Women Talking, Boys in the Boat, and Creed III, with even more in development for Prime Video. In addition to launches, we greenlit Road House with Jake Gyllenhaal and The Underdoggs with Snoop Dogg. In partnership with MGM Television, we greenlit and commenced production on Shelter (based on the bestselling thriller novel by Harlan Coben), The Consultant (starring Christoph Waltz), and A Road to a Million (a reality competition series featuring locales from 007 movies).

I am so appreciative of all the work you’ve collectively done this year, and look forward to all we can do together as we build the next phase of this rich legacy of amazing content. You will be hearing from Jen and Chris soon about their visions and goals for their respective organizations. Thank you all for your patience and commitment throughout this process.