[06/15/04 - 12:00 AM]
Janollari In, Levin Out as the WB Reorganizes
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The WB is set to undergo a major reorganization as the Frog announced this week Jordan Levin, the network's Chief Executive Officer, has stepped down from his post giving Garth Ancier, Chairman of The WB Television Network, sole oversight of The WB.

In addition, Ancier has named David Janollari the network's new President of Entertainment.

Both announcements were detailed via press release:




In a reorganization of The WB's operational structure, Garth Ancier, Chairman of The WB Television Network, will have sole oversight of The WB, and will bring in a President of Entertainment, who will be in charge of primetime and Kids' WB! programming, it was announced today by Barry M. Meyer, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

In the new structure, Ancier will continue to report to Meyer; Bruce Rosenblum, Executive Vice President, Warner Bros. Television Group will continue to have day-to-day corporate responsibility for The WB. Jordan Levin, CEO of The WB, who equally shared running the Network with Ancier, has decided to shed his network executive duties, instead of modifying them and becoming President of Entertainment, and has signed an Independent Production deal with Warner Bros. Television.

Last September, Ancier and Levin split up the responsibilities of running the network, serving as Co-Chairman and Co-CEO, respectively, with network founder Jamie Kellner. Upon Kellner's official retirement from the Network in May, Ancier's title became Chairman and Levin's Chief Executive Officer, whereby the two co-managed The WB and reported directly to Meyer.

"This is a win-win for all of us," said Meyer. "Taking a non-traditional organizational route was a noble effort, but having a sole leader is simply more productive, efficient and effective. Garth and Jordan are both extraordinarily talented executives and superstars in their own right. We are delighted Jordan will become an independent producer for Warner Bros. Television. One cannot overstate Jordan's contribution to the success of The WB, and we look forward to him duplicating that success at WBTV. The WB, with its strong line-up, excellent new programs for the fall and Garth and his long-time, inimitable executive team at the helm, will continue to grow and thrive."

"I appreciate Barry's confidence in me and I'm looking forward to the challenge of building upon the great success The WB has already achieved," said Ancier. "Jordan's contributions to our success have been enormous. When the book is written he will be as important in the story as any single person. Jordan and I worked together at Disney and I brought him over to The WB as soon as I got here, which was the best decision I ever made. He leaves a legacy of quality and integrity to the product."

"We have a very senior staff at The WB, most of whom have worked here since day one and many of us go all the way back to the Fox launch in 1986, and we will continue to run like a well-oiled machine. The plan is to add a President of Entertainment, who will be my partner in leading the creative direction of the Network. There are some excellent candidates out there and we plan to announce our decision in the coming days."

"The WB has been my home for 10 years now and I have great respect for all my co-workers, the best group of executives in the industry," said Levin. "We've accomplished historic feats and have created a well-branded and defined network that is an important force in the industry. There were inevitable management hiccups that would occur as Jamie (Kellner) left and Barry (Meyer) and the studio officially took over. They had a management structure in mind that although would have allowed me to continue to drive the creative direction of the company, did not allow me the opportunities and responsibilities that I had already embraced with great enthusiasm.

"Working with our talented sales team, we just completed a very successful upfront, where not only was our development season applauded, but, as importantly, we hit our business plan for the upfront. We have successfully launched a more year-round strategy with the successful debut of 'Summerland,' and we have just completed a reinvigoration of our on-air marketing look. I enjoyed the process of all of these areas and I look forward to my next opportunity to work in all of these disciplines.

"So although the job of President of Entertainment at The WB is a great one, it is a job I have already done and my goals are to continue my career as both a creative and a business executive."


David Janollari has been named President of Entertainment for The WB Network, it was announced today by Garth Ancier, Chairman of The WB. As President of Entertainment, Janollari will be responsible for Primetime Program Development including Series, Movies and Specials; Primetime Current Programming and Scheduling as well as Kids WB! Programming. Janollari joins The WB from the award winning The Greenblatt Janollari Studio which he co-founded with producing partner Bob Greenblatt. The Greenblatt Janollari Studio presently has four primetime series on the air including the critically acclaimed "Six Feet Under" for HBO, "Eve" and "One on One" for UPN and "American Family" for PBS. "David's success making award-winning series that people talk about and tune in to combined with his stellar record as a creative executive at Warner Bros. Television and Fox, make him the perfect choice to lead our Entertainment division into The WB's second decade," said Ancier. "He brings great contacts, excellent taste and a proven track record, what more can you ask for." "I am thrilled and excited to join The WB," said Janollari. "I can't thank Garth, Barry (Meyer) and Bruce (Rosenblum) enough for their confidence in me, and I am looking forward to working with my new colleagues as well as many of my old friends from my Warner Bros. Television and Fox days." Janollari has an extensive background with Warner Bros. Television; having been instrumental in bringing "Friends" creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane to the Studio, while head of comedy development, under then WBTV President Leslie Moonves. Other series under his aegis at WBTV include the long-running hit "The Drew Carey Show," "Living Single" and "Suddenly Susan" as well as two of The WB's highest-rated comedies "The Jamie Foxx Show" and "The Wayans Bros." Janollari joins The WB from having been president of The Greenblatt Janollari Studio, an independent television production company currently producing four television series, including the twice Emmy-nominated series "Six Feet Under," winner of the 2001 Golden Globe for Best Drama Series, and 2003 recipient of the George Foster Peabody Award. He also executive produces UPN's sophomore comedy "Eve," nominated for four Teen Choice Awards, including Best Comedy Series, as well as "One on One," now in its fourth season on UPN. In addition, Janollari also produced "American Family," the first and only Latino drama on network television which recently concluded its airing on PBS. The Greenblatt Janollari Studio also produced the hit comedy "The Hughleys," which is in its second season in domestic syndication. Janollari and his producing partner Robert Greenblatt were honored at the Inaugural Producers Guild of America's "Celebration of Diversity" awards program for their ability to broaden the industry's horizons with the production of "Six Feet Under," and they were also awarded the 2004 Producer's Guild's Norman Felton Award for Excellence in Producing. Prior to his work as an executive at Warner Bros. Television, Janollari was the director of comedy development at the Fox Broadcasting Company.

  [june 2004]  


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