Apple poaches top two Sony TV execs to boost video content
Apple said it has hired the co-presidents of Sony Pictures Television, Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, to lead the iPhone maker's foray into television-style programming.
The duo, responsible for shows such as "Breaking Bad," "Better Call Saul," "The Crown" and "The Blacklist," have been Sony Pictures presidents since 2005.
"Jamie and Zack are two of the most talented TV executives in the world and have been instrumental in making this the golden age of television," said Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services.
Van Amburg and Erlicht’s departure from Sony Pictures was announced on Thursday in a memo from Sony Pictures Entertainment Chief Executive Tony Vinciquerra, according to the entertainment magazine Variety, which said their contracts were set to expire in August.
Hollywood has been awaiting the entry of deep-pocketed Apple into the field of original television, which is studded with award-winning dramas and comedies from outlets such as Netflix and Time Warner Inc's HBO.
Apple began its move into the field last week, with a reality program called "Planet of the Apps," an unscripted show about developers trying to interest celebrity mentors with a 60-second pitch on an escalator.
The company's future programming plans include an adaptation of comedian James Corden's "Carpool Karaoke" segment from his CBS show that will begin airing in August, a documentary about Sean Combs in June, and another about Clive Davis in a few months.
Apple shares fell slightly in early trading on Friday, shedding 28 cents to $144.01 per share.