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Turner's Kevin Reilly joins team developing planned WarnerMedia streaming service

Turner's Kevin Reilly joins team developing planned WarnerMedia streaming service
Kevin Reilly, president of TNT & TBS and now chief creative officer for a planned WarnerMedia streaming service, in his Burbank office in 2016. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Longtime TV programmer Kevin Reilly will become the architect of the “overall creative identity” of a planned WarnerMedia streaming service, his top boss announced Friday.

WarnerMedia Chief Executive John Stankey said, in a memo to staff members, that he has tapped Reilly to be one of his chief lieutenants.

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The appointment comes as the company, now owned by AT&T, rushes to develop a streaming service to compete with Walt Disney Co., Netflix, Amazon Prime and others. Stankey has said he wants the new streaming service — which will include programming from Turner, HBO and the Warner Bros. studio — to launch by the end of 2019.

One of Hollywood’s most popular TV programmers, Reilly has been in charge of entertainment for Turner’s entertainment cable channels TBS and TNT since 2015. Before he joined Turner, Reilly oversaw the prime-time lineup for the Fox broadcast network. He was previously president of NBC Entertainment during one of the peacock network’s creative spurts when it launched such shows as “The Office” and “30 Rock.”

Since joining Turner, Reilly has worked to elevate TNT’s programming with such edgy shows as “Animal Kingdom” and the psychological thriller “The Alienist,” which received two Golden Globes nominations. TBS added “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” as well as the Tracy Morgan comedy “The Last O.G.,” created by Jordan Peele and John Carcieri.

His new WarnerMedia title is quite clunky: “President of TBS and TNT and Chief Creative Officer Turner and Direct-to-Consumer.”

In addition to overseeing entertainment for the cable channels TBS and TNT, Reilly will be deeply involved in fashioning the look and offerings of the WarnerMedia streaming service, Stankey said in the staff memo. Stankey noted that Reilly would report to him as well as David Levy, who is Reilly’s current boss.

“He has a reputation as a forward thinker when it comes to programming formats and cross-platform opportunities,” Stankey said.

The announcement, however, noted that Reilly would not be involved in developing HBO’s original series or HBO’s offerings on the proposed streaming service. Instead, HBO management will be responsible for that.

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