Jamie Kellner, founding architect of The WB Television Network, is turning over the leadership reigns of The WB to longtime colleagues Garth Ancier, Jordan Levin and Jed Petrick when he steps down as chairman/ceo at the end of the 2003-04 television season, it was announced Sept. 30, 2003 by Kellner and Barry Meyer, chairman/ceo Warner Bros. Entertainment.
Ancier will become chairman of the network, taking over Kellner's big picture, forward thinking, strategic planning responsibilities as well as having the network's cfo and general counsel report to him.
Levin will take over Kellner's day-to-day operational duties as ceo, retaining his current programming duties, while adding business oversight of the operational running of the network. Both Ancier and Levin will report directly to Meyer.
Petrick, as president/coo, will report to Levin, retaining responsibility and oversight for advertising sales, network distribution, broadcast standards, research, administration, human resources, The WB 100+ station group and Kids' WB!
During this transitional period, Ancier has been named co-chairman and Levin is promoted to co-ceo, sharing both Kellner's titles and responsibilities. In addition to his duties at The WB, Ancier will continue to be available to sister company Turner Broadcasting System, to consult on programming issues associated with their news and entertainment networks.
"Three years ago as the network moved toward profitability, I began to formulate my transition plan as I contemplated retirement from The WB, said Kellner. The transition process began when I named Jed Petrick as our first network president and chief operating officer, to oversee the business units. A wrinkle in the plan developed when I was asked to go to Atlanta to oversee and strengthen for the future, the TBS division. At that time, I designated Jordan and Jed to split the responsibilities of running the network on a day-to-day basis, while Garth, who I've worked successfully with since 1986, acted as one of my most senior advisors.
Kellner continued, "The WB just completed its best season ever in ratings and profitability and as we head into the new season, our profitability continues to show growth. Both Barry and I believe that this team has already proven themselves to be up to the challenge of taking the network to its next level of success. And although we might be the youngest of the broadcast networks, our senior management team is the most experienced in the television business. Putting Jordan, Garth and Jed at the helm of The WB, and doing it before I leave, insures a smooth and seamless transition. Having stable management is one of our proudest accomplishments and there is no doubt in my mind that this is the best way for us to successfully deliver upon our highly profitable long-term business plan."
"Jamie is truly without peer in this business, there is no other executive in the history of the industry that successfully created two broadcast television networks from scratch, said Meyer. But, as Jamie often says, he didn't do it alone and we are very fortunate that the team that helped him make history and build this incredible asset will take us into the future.
Meyer reminisced, "It seems like only yesterday when the partnership between Warner Bros. and Jamie began, as he and Bruce (Rosenblum) traversed the country in all sizes of planes and all types of weather signing up affiliates. Jamie and his team have executed on the vision beyond the expectations of all those naysayers that loudly proclaimed that there was no room for more than four broadcast networks. Boy, were they wrong. Bruce and I and all of us at Warner Bros. Entertainment look forward to working with Garth, Jordan, Jed, Bob (Bibb), Lew (Goldstein) and the extraordinary team that Jamie has put together over the past nine years as we continue the tradition of success that he began.