Bruce Rosenblum, the president of Warner Bros. Television Group, said the question of who will become the next leader of Warner Brothers Entertainment is a distraction that he and his television team are striving to avoid.
“We’ve not been given any indication of when we will hear something,” he said in an exclusive interview with TheWrap at the start of the Emmy season.
“Our job and what I’ve expressed to everyone on the TV team is we need to keep our heads down and do our jobs as well as we can do it," said Rosenblum, who is also the new chairman and CEO of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. "We cannot be distracted by speculation, and everything will work out in the end.”
How that works out exactly, though, is a question that hangs daily over the Warner Bros. executives as they await a slow-burn verdict of who will succeed Barry Meyer as the head of entertainment after he steps down at the end of 2013.
The bake-off has been set between Rosenblum, movie studio chief Jeff Robinov and Kevin Tsujihara, president of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group. Time Warner Chairman Jeff Bewkes has so far given no indication of who, if any of the three, he favors. (Naturally, a corporate spokesman had no comment.)
Robinov occupies the job held by the previous Warner Bros chief, Alan Horn. But Bewkes has lately been emphasizing that Time Warner is first and foremost a television company. That fact is underscored by recent numbers showing that 80 percent of the media conglomerate's profits come from television, mainly HBO and Turner.
Whether intentionally or not, Rosenblum has placed himself in the spotlight with his new leadership role at the television academy, as well as the prominent position Warner Bros. television occupies in the TV space.
Robinov caused some tongues to wag at CinemaCon in Las Vegas a month ago when his lackluster speaking style before exhibitors raised questions about his media skills. But the standout performance of the movie studio last year, the ongoing strength of his team and his new slate of films, including "Dark Knight Rises," may speak volumes for him.
As for Tsujihara, another talented executive, his division is creating the new business models for the digital age and represents the future profits of Warner Bros. So he cannot be counted out either.
For the moment, it’s radio silence at Time Warner headquarters. Rosenblum, who told TheWrap that the topic was not “appropriate” for discussion, is trying his best – like his peers – to ignore what remains an elephant on the Warner Bros. lot.
The full interview with Rosenblum will be published in the June 4 issue of EmmyWrap magazine.