The headline in AdWeek shouts the news: Former HBO CEO Richard Plepler Heading to Apple.
“The former HBO CEO, who departed the premium cable network in February after a three-decade run, is in advanced discussions to sign an exclusive production pact with Apple TV+.“
“Under the terms of the agreement being discussed, Plepler’s new company, RLP & Co., would create original content for Apple TV+.”
“Plepler’s goal is to deliver as a producer the kind of high-quality series he championed as a top executive at HBO, including Game Of Thrones.”
“Plepler exited HBO in February amid a larger shake-up resulting from AT&T’s purchase of Time Warner’s entertainment assets for $85 billion. He spent 28 years at HBO.“
“Now, a top TV executive in charge of Apple’s programming has left the company less than two weeks after the service’s debut.”
“Kim Rozenfeld is leaving his position as head of current scripted programming, documentary, and unscripted content, according to The Hollywood Reporter. There aren’t any additional details on Rozenfeld’s departure, but it is remarkable.”
HBO did really, really well creating its own proprietary content under Richard Plepler. 28 years of content is a pretty strong indication of what’s to come for Apple+.
Game of Thrones. The Sopranos. The Wire. Sex And The City. Veep. Big Little Lies. True Detective. Six Feet Under. Barry. Westworld. Insecure. The list seems endless.
And all of it was original content. Plepler realized early in the game that simply re-airing movies after they’d left the theaters, even without editing out the sex and profanity, would not make HBO successful.
We shouldn’t be surprised that Apple is attempting to hire the very best content exec it can find. Great original content is the only way Apple+ succeeds.
Sadly, we would all be shocked if one of the big consolidated Radio companies invested hundreds of millions of dollars in original radio content — proprietary, non-musical content — even though Radio will surely fade away without it.
And that says everything you need to know about the medium you’ve given your life to, doesn’t it?