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WarnerMedia reveals UK & Ireland senior team, creates TV & digital distribution group

John Stanley & Polly Cochrane

WarnerMedia has unveiled a newly-formed TV & digital distribution team in the UK & Ireland under recently appointed chief Polly Cochrane, with long-standing Warner Bros. exec John Stanley set to leave the company.

Stanley, who has headed Warner Bros. home entertainment operations in the UK, Ireland, Spain and the Nordics for the past 14 years, will step down from day-to-day management at the end of this month but remain with the firm until the end of June 2021 to oversee the transition.

Cochrane, who took on part of Josh Berger’s remit last month following his departure as Warner Bros. UK, Ireland, Spain & Nordics president, has now appointed a four-pronged exec team to lead WarnerMedia’s operations.

Josh Berger

TV & digital focus

Former BBC Worldwide exec Alison Morris, who joined WarnerMedia in 2007 and currently oversees the distribution of Warner Bros., Turner, HBO, and HBO Max content, will now lead a newly formed TV & digital distribution group, which will also include home video.

Morris’s new unit will also house Turner affiliate & ad sales, and see her working closely with respective leaders Riccardo Donato and Andrew Mallandaine.

Elsewhere, Neil Marshall – who has been with Warner Bros. since 2006 – will continue to lead theatrical film distribution, but now also takes on local film production, supported by Patrick Strafford. He will also assume oversight for all operations in Ireland.

Rachel Wakley, who oversees consumer products & experiences, expands her remit to include physical video and physical & digital games sales, while Alex Lewis will continue to lead film & games marketing.

Allan Stenhouse will continue to lead TV marketing, having recently taken on Turner and HBO home video marketing and TV distribution support in addition to the Warner Bros. content he continues to manage. He will also work with Stenhouse to jointly oversee creative services and franchise management for the UK & Ireland.

Charlie Cubbon will lead on commercial development for the UK & Ireland, overseeing a newly formed central commercial planning team as well as the long-term strategy on games.

Priya Dogra

Global restructuring

The revamp comes three weeks after Cochrane – who was most recently EVP & Group marketing director for Warner Bros. UK and Ireland – became country manager for the territories. She reports into Priya Dogra, who was announced as head of WarnerMedia EMEA & Asia (excl. China) as part of the company’s focus on streaming.

Cochrane will work with teams in the US and across Europe, including the WarnerMedia EMEA leadership team, which includes recently promoted country managers Iris Knobloch (France, Benelux, Germany, Austria and Switzerland), Barbara Salabè (Italy) and Pierre Branco (CEE, Nordics, the Middle East, Turkey and Africa), who is also head of affiliate and ad sales for EMEA.

The senior team also includes Hannes Heyelmann and HBO Europe exec Antony Root, who respectively lead the general entertainment programming and original production remits. Lesley Bailey and Cecilia Persson continue as leaders of the central EMEA kids and young adults team, with a dual report to Dogra and Tom Ascheim, president of kids, young adults and classics for WarnerMedia.

The reorganisation follows the announcement in August that WarnerMedia was bringing the international operations of Warner Bros., HBO and Turner under one leadership for the first time, with Gerhard Zeiler, to whom Dogra reports, named as head of WarnerMedia International.