The CW Taps Ryan Sharkey as SVP of Programming and Content Strategy

He was previously SVP of content acquisitions at NBCUniversal

Ryan Sharkey (The CW)
Ryan Sharkey (The CW)

Ryan Sharkey has been named Senior Vice President of programming and content strategy for the CW, the network’s president of entertainment Brad Schwartz announced on Tuesday.

Sharkey, who was previously SVP of content acquisitions at NBCUniversal and will be based in New York, will spearhead the strategic growth of The CW as well as its AVOD platform and FAST channel extensions, according to the press release shared with TheWrap. He succeeds Kevin Levy in the role, who left the company in June.

“As The CW explores new content that will resonate with viewers on both our linear and streaming channels, Ryan is the ideal candidate to lead our programming team,” said Schwartz. “With Ryan’s vast experience in all areas of network scheduling and acquisitions, we’re confident he will set The CW up for immeasurable success.”

“The CW is going through an exciting transformation, and I’m thrilled to join the team at this opportune time to grow the network and its digital platforms into a profitable destination for premier programming,” said Sharkey.

“I look forward to leveraging my long-standing industry partnerships, financial background and creative dealmaking skills to enhance the intense work Brad and his team have put into this transition. Brad is an energizing creative force, and I can’t wait to partner with him.”

Earlier this year, the CW canceled a number of series, including DCEU’s “Gotham Knights,” “Supernatural” prequel “The Winchesters” and “Kung Fu,” as part of its focus on reducing spending at the formerly YA-centric network.

The CW also greenlit its first true-crime series, “Crime Nation,” in September.

At NBCU, Sharkey led negotiations for major IP, including the Universal film output deal and the Harry Potter franchise. He also executed the first acquisitions deals for streamer Peacock ahead of its 2020 launch.

He joined NBC in 2002 as a financial analyst responsible for the programming budgets at CNBC, the USA Network and SYFY Channel. 


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