Warner Bros. film marketing President Blair Rich to leave studio
Blair Rich, the top Warner Bros. film marketing executive who led campaigns for movies including “Wonder Woman,” “Joker” and “Tenet,” is leaving the studio at the end of the year.
AT&T-owned Warner Bros., which announced Rich’s exit Friday, did not name a replacement for for the longtime executive, who has held the lead marketing position since 2018 and has been with the Burbank-based studio for more than two decades. The company said it was Rich’s decision to leave.
Rich, a highly respected film marketer, did not say why she was leaving.
“It’s been my greatest honor to spend the first chapter of my career at Warner Bros., but after 23 years it’s time for something new,” she said in a statement.
Rich’s departure comes amid a tumultuous period for the studio, which has been hobbled by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on film releases.
Parent company WarnerMedia on Tuesday began the process of laying off 5% to 7% of its staff. WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar has made moves since his appointment in May to streamline the business and prioritize streaming content and growing HBO Max.
In August, WarnerMedia shed about 600 employees, mostly from the storied film and TV studio.
Rich’s departure is not part of the layoffs, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to comment.
Warner Bros. has largely been unable to release major films in theaters during the pandemic.
Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” produced soft results at the U.S. box office in September, though it did much better overseas. “Wonder Woman 1984” is currently set for a Christmas Day release, but its position is precarious with no end in sight for theater closures in Los Angeles and New York.
Rich joined Warner Bros. 23 years ago as a marketing trainee in the studio’s international marketing division when she was 22 years old. Her profile rose at the company, and she eventually became president of worldwide marketing at Warner Bros. Pictures in 2016, where she spearheaded campaigns for movies such as the blockbuster Stephen King adaptation “It.”
In 2018, her role was expanded to president of Worldwide Marketing at Warner Bros. Pictures Group and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Her promotion followed the departure of her then-boss, Warner Bros. marketing and distribution head Sue Kroll. Campaigns during Rich’s tenure included “Crazy Rich Asians” and the 2018 Bradley Cooper remake of “A Star Is Born.”
“Blair has had an amazing run during her tenure at Warner Bros. creating and executing a multitude of unique, compelling and award-winning campaigns,” Warner Bros. Pictures Chairman Toby Emmerich said in a statement.
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