Kevin Reilly has been named president of TNT and TBS and chief creative officer of Turner Entertainment, parent company Turner Broadcasting announced Tuesday. Reilly will report to David Levy, president of Turner Broadcasting.
"Kevin is one of the most respected, innovative and influential executives in the television industry, and he's joining Turner Broadcasting at the ideal time for him and for the networks," said Levy. "Kevin brings a tremendous track record of success not only in terms of programming hits but also in the new media arena, where he was among the first broadcast network executives to push for meaningful investment in digital and social media.”
The move comes more than two months after Michael Wright left his post as president of TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies, becoming CEO of DreamWorks, leading that studio’s feature film business.
A former entertainment president at Fox Broadcasting and NBC, Reilly joins Turner at a time of transition for the company that has included significant change at the executive level and layoffs throughout the company’s ranks. Wright’s departure in August was preceded by the announcement in April that Turner Entertainment Networks president Steve Koonin would leave the company and join the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks as CEO and minority owner. That move followed the retirement in 2013 of Turner CEO Phil Kent and the naming of John Martin, former CFO of Turner parent company Time Warner, as Kent’s successor.
In October, Turner announced plans to lay off 10% of its global staff — about 1,475 employees. That move was seen as part of a larger restructuring of Turner being advanced by Martin and an effort by Time Warner to increase earnings growth after the company rebuffed a takeover bid by Rupert Murdoch and 21st Century Fox.
Fox announced in May that Reilly would step down after seven years as entertainment chief at Fox Broadcasting. Reilly led the network through the latter part of an eight-season run as the top-rated broadcast network among adults 18-49. But that streak ended with the 2012-13 season as ratings for American Idol — long the engine that powered the network’s success — entered a steep decline. This season, Fox is in fourth place in the ratings among the broadcasters.
Prior to his time at Fox, Reilly led NBC, overseeing the network at a time when it successfully launched shows such as The Office, The Biggest Loser, Friday Night Lights and 30 Rock. He previously served as head of cable network FX.
In his new role, Reilly will also serve as chair of the newly formed Turner Entertainment Programming Council, an effort to coordinate entertainment programming for TNT, TBS, Adult Swim and truTV.