Jennifer Salke to head up Amazon Studios

The former president of NBC Entertainment replaces Roy Price, who resigned in October amid sexual harassment allegations.

NBCUniversal ExecutivesNBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke has been hired as head of Amazon Studios, replacing Roy Price, who resigned from the post in October.

Front-runners for the position reportedly included A+E Networks president and CEO Nancy Dubuc, who was said to have pulled herself out of the race on Feb. 8, according to trade media reports. Dana Walden, Fox TV Group chairman, reportedly pulled herself out of the race earlier this year.

“What stood out about Jen was the deep relationships she has nurtured with creators and talent over her career, spanning NBCU, Twentieth Century Fox, and Aaron Spelling Productions,” said Jeff Blackburn, SVP, business development & entertainment, Amazon, in a statement. “She’s built an impeccable reputation as a big leader who emphasizes creativity, collaboration, and teamwork.”

“I’m incredibly excited about the future at Amazon Studios,” Salke said in her statement. “In the studio’s relatively short existence they have innovated, disrupted, and created characters that are already an indelible part of pop culture. I am both honoured and emboldened by the opportunity to lead this extraordinary business. Of course, this is also bittersweet for me. NBC has been an amazing home – creatively, professionally and personally – and I leave there knowing that the work we did had groundbreaking impact. It’s an exciting time to be a content creator, and I look forward to being on the front lines of an innovative business with storytelling at its heart.”

Salke oversaw comedy and drama development, current programming, casting, business affairs and production for scripted programming as of earlier this year, and diversity programming initiatives for U.S. broadcaster, and also oversaw Universal Television Studios. Among her programming successes in her six-year stint at NBC are This Is Us and Dick Wolf’s Chicago franchise.

Price, the previous Amazon Studios head, resigned following sexual harassment allegations lodged against him by Isa Dick Hackett, an exec producer for Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle.

The timing of Salke’s start at Amazon Studios has not yet been finalized, but Salke is expected to stay at NBC for a transition period. According to reports, the network is set to announce a replacement for her shortly.

From Realscreen