Amazon has announced that Jennifer Salke, who is currently NBC Entertainment president, will be taking over as head of its film production and television division. the position is being filled four months since the resignation of Roy Price who was forced to leave after allegation of sexual harassment were leveled against him by Isa Hackett, the executive producer of the television series “The Man in the High Castle.”
Since Price’s departure, the position has been held temporarily by Albert Cheng, Chief Operating Officer at Amazon Studios.
Price’s removal in October last year coincided with the ouster of Harvey Weinstein from The Weinstein Company over allegations of sexual misconduct by several women including leading actresses. Price got caught up in the wave that started with Weinstein against influential men in the movie industry who used their positions to molest women.
Price was instrumental in bringing Amazon into the streaming market and growing Amazon Studios into a fierce player in the traditional film market as well as the streaming segment. With an annual budget of more than $4.5 billion, Amazon Studios has produced amazing original programming making it the first streaming service to win an Academy Awards for the film Manchester by the Sea and the TV series Transparent.
Amazon has reportedly been searching for Price’s replacement with a focus on female candidates. Possible candidates included Fox TV Group chairman Dana Walden and Paramount TV president Amy Powell.
After the announcement, Salke said that she is excited about the new role and honored to head an extraordinary studio that is renowned for disruption, innovation and creating characters that have defined pop culture in such a short period of existence.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO has indicated that he would like Amazon Studios to move into the big league and produce TV hits that can rival HBO’s Game of Thrones. The studio has recently inked a deal to produce a TV series, Lord of the Rings, based on the fantasy novel series. This came at a cost of $250 million for the global rights.