The WB at 10: WB Memories: Jamie Kellner

Jan 17, 2005  •  Post A Comment

The idea to start a new network really came to me after a visit to Fox [Broadcasting Co.] on my way to New York. I went up to the third floor to say hello to some friends there and I learned that a bunch of people were leaving, and a bunch of other people who were staying were not very happy.

I said to myself, ‘If all these people who just started a network are available, that would be an enormous leg up to start another one.’

I picked up the phone and called Barry Meyer [then executive VP and chief operating officer of Warner Bros., now chairman and CEO], and it all started that way, driving from Fox down to the airport. I said, ‘These people just got a network up and running, and they know what they’re doing. We could do it a lot faster and without as much investment [because we wouldn’t make as many missteps].’

It’s never an easy road when you’re in that competitive world. You go at it expecting well-entrenched competition who’ll do everything they can to keep you down. You have to get the distribution, the product, the advertising support; you have to succeed on all fronts or you can’t succeed on any. But everyone worked hard, and I’m glad to say things turned out pretty well.

Mr. Kellner founded The WB in 1993 with Warner Bros. and the Tribune Co.