Veteran Television Executive Ken Werner to Retire

Sep 25, 2018  •  Post A Comment

Press release from Warner Bros., Sept. 25, 2018:

Well-respected and long-time television executive Ken Werner, who currently serves as President, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution (WBDTD), announced today that he will retire at the end of the year at which time he will serve as a consultant to the group.

Since 2006, Werner has overseen the operations of the entertainment industry’s leading distributors of entertainment programming to the domestic television marketplace, handling distribution of all Warner Bros. produced content (first run syndication, off-network television and theatrical motion pictures) to on-demand (both ad-supported and subscription), pay, cable, satellite and broadcast networks and local broadcast stations.

Said Werner: “I have had a charmed career; fortunate to work at leading companies, along-side immensely talented colleagues, representing the most compelling content in a business that is always changing. I leave Warner Bros. with great pride in what my teams have accomplished, beginning with building the distribution foundation for the fifth broadcast network (The WB) through to the last seven years as we asserted a leadership role in developing the on-demand marketplace with precedent-setting innovative deals. I am extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to represent the greatest TV and motion picture library in the world and am forever indebted to my WBDTD team, the larger Warner Bros. family, clients, competitors, friends and my family.”

Said Jeffrey Schlesinger, President, Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Distribution: “Ken has led our domestic television distribution business with great success to many record-setting years. He and his team are industry leaders and have achieved these results with hard work, great salesmanship and innovation.  We will miss Ken but wish him the best in retirement; his contributions will continue to be felt for many years to come.”

Werner was named WBDTD’s President in August 2006, taking charge of local television station distribution of first-run and off-network syndicated series and theatrical motion pictures.  In January 2008, Werner added responsibility for the pay, cable, satellite and broadcast network sales.  With the advent of subscription and ad-supported video-on-demand, Werner’s aegis soon expanded to include this media as well (including Netflix, Amazon and Hulu).

In addition to distributing the Warner Bros library consisting of over 5,000 tv series and 8,300 feature films, first-run series distributed by WBDTD under Werner’s leadership include Telepictures Productions’ “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “The Real,” “TMZ,” “TMZ Live,” “Extra,” “Judge Mathis” and “The People’s Court” and current off-network programs include “The Big Bang Theory,” “Friends,” “Mom,” “Two and a Half Men,” “Mike & Molly,”  and “2 Broke Girls.”

Prior to joining WBDTD starting in 1997, Werner served as EVP of Distribution for The WB Network increasing its U.S. coverage from 56 percent to 94 percent and was a key member of the Warner Bros. team that formed The CW Network, and led the initial rollout of its distribution.

He previously served as Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning and Business Development at CBS, Inc.  Prior to CBS, Werner spent eight years with The Walt Disney Company, where he served as Senior Vice President of Walt Disney Television.  Between 1983 and 1988, Werner held senior business affairs positions at both Columbia Pictures Television and Viacom Enterprises.

After graduating from Georgetown University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and earning his Juris Doctor from New York Law School, Werner began his career on the business side of entertainment as an attorney and Assistant Executive Director of the Dramatists Guild of America, Inc. He has spoken extensively at leading business schools, law schools, symposia and advertising forum. He currently serves on the boards of TVB and the Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement at USC. He is a former Board member of NATPE and a founding Board and Loan Committee member of L.A. FAME Renaissance, a not for profit dedicated to economic empowerment of underserved communities.

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