Television

WarnerMedia makes top level APAC changes

Ricky Ow appointed president, distribution and advertising sales, Asia pacific

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MUMBAI: Ricky Ow has been named president, WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks, distribution and advertising sales, APAC, uniting Turner Asia Pacific and HBO Asia to create a combined powerhouse of leading brands, in the first of a series of key appointments announced today by Giorgio Stock, president, WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks, distribution and advertising sales, EMEA and APAC.

Ow, previously president, Turner Asia Pacific, takes on responsibility for all entertainment networks, distribution of all networks, advertising sales and the kids networks operations in the Asia Pacific region and reports into Stock.

“Ricky has done a tremendous job in building a team that has transformed our business in Asia, investing in award-winning premium content, developing completely new revenue streams and optimising operations. I’m confident that he and his extended team will deliver even more to our partners and invest further in what we offer our fans,” said Stock.

Jonathan Spink, CEO, HBO Asia, will be leaving the company. “I want to thank Jonathan, who over his long tenure has led the Asian team with passion, entrepreneurship, and a focus on innovation, applying throughout his good humour and a healthy dose of common sense. I am looking forward to having his precious advice and his insights through the end of this year as we bring our companies together and prepare for a new chapter,” Stock added.

“It has been a truly exceptional experience leading HBO Asia over these past years,” said Spink. “It has been a wonderful journey and I wish the company every success for the future.”

With the new organisation, Clement Schwebig has been promoted to managing director, WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks, Southeast Asia, Pacific and China, effective immediately. Schwebig will be based in Singapore and continue to report to Ow.

In his new role, Schwebig will oversee all entertainment networks including HBO and its family of channels, OTT service and two SVOD services, Warner TV, local content channels Red and Oh!K, as well as Cartoon Network and the kids portfolio, and all digital ventures. His responsibilities include operations, advertising sales, and the distribution of all networks including CNN International, HLN and BabyFirst.

Previously, Schwebig was CFO of Turner Asia Pacific, SVP business development and licensing for the region, as well as managing director of China. Over the past 6 years he has been leading the financial growth, as well as successfully driving the company’s strong expansion beyond its core business in China and location-based entertainment businesses. Schwebig joined Turner in 2013 after spending more than a decade managing substantial TV operations in Europe and Asia.

“Clement is a seasoned business leader who has substantial experience encompassing all aspects of business operations in TV broadcasting and production, strategy, finance and sales,” said Ow. “With his deep understanding of our business in Asia Pacific, Clement is ideally suited to lead our networks and commercial operations in Southeast Asia Pacific and China, playing an even more active role in shaping the direction and strategy as we transform into a modern media company,” he added.

“I’m grateful for the confidence Giorgio and Ricky have placed in me. Combining the strengths of all our teams behind powerful brands like HBO, CNN and Cartoon Network positions us for a sustainable growth of our business as we evolve rapidly in order to engage our consumers across multiple touchpoints, with standout content, leveraging data and technology. I have a deep respect for the success HBO Asia has achieved and will build upon the legacy established by Jonathan and his executive team. I am particularly looking forward to working with the Turner and HBO teams in Singapore, which are known in the industry for their creativity and innovative mindset,” said Schwebig.

Stock also announced changes in the key support functions of finance and legal.

Steve Burton, executive vice president, HBO Asia, will leave the company. “Steve’s many contributions to the HBO Asia business have been integral to the business success over the years, with his drive and commitment,” said Stock. “He leaves us well-equipped to take advantage of future opportunities.”

Jamie Friend, currently SVP and CFO for WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks, EMEA, has been promoted to take on the additional responsibility of helming the company's financial planning and analysis for APAC as well. "Jamie’s business acumen, innovative thinking and strategic vision is a powerful combination which has already been invaluable to our existing EMEA operation,” said Stock. “Now he will bring those skills to the Asian region to shape and support how we evolve the business in today’s fast-changing media landscape.”

Also supporting the new organisation in APAC are regional legal counsels Annabel Archer and Lawrence Yuen who report into Alessandra Chichi, chief legal counsel for WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks, distribution and advertising sales EMEA and APAC region.

Jamie also reports into Trey Turner, EVP and chief financial officer, WarnerMedia sales & international; Alessandra also reports into Melissa Roper Barnett, EVP and general counsel, WarnerMedia Sales & International.

These appointments for Asia Pacific are part of WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks efforts to position its business in the region for further growth and take its portfolio of brands to the next level.

Spanning 42 countries in 14 languages, WarnerMedia Entertainment Asia Pacific brands include Warner TV, Oh!K, Mondo TV, Mondo Mah-Jong TV, TABI Channel, Tabi Tele, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, POGO and Tuzki together with HBO, HBO Signature, HBO Family, HBO Hits, Cinemax and Red as well as the OTT service HBO Go, and two SVOD services HBO On Demand and Ding Ji Ju Chang. WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks is also responsible for the distribution of CNN International, HLN and BabyFirst in Asia.

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