Apple could snap up ex-HBO chief for original TV efforts

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Apple is reportedly looking for a Programming Chief.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is reportedly searching for a programming head for its TV efforts to show Hollywood that it’s serious about its original content and video efforts.

With that in mind, Apple execs met with HBO’s former programming head Michael Lombardo earlier this year, suggesting that he could be a candidate to take the role.

Lombardo, a 33-year veteran of HBO, left the network this time last year. During a nine-year stint as program chief, he helped launch True Blood, Girls, Veep, Silicon Valley, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and Game of Thrones.

It’s not clear from the report what was discussed at Apple’s meeting with Lombardo, and he has yet to officially take the role, so the news really serves as just another reminder that Apple wants its video efforts to be taken seriously.

The Information, which reported the story, writes that, “many in Hollywood have been flummoxed by what exactly Apple wants to do with video. Questions include how far Apple wants to go in making its own shows and whether it wants to compete with Netflix, Amazon and Hulu.”

So far, Apple’s efforts in this area have seemed confused, or certainly not as serious as companies like the above three. While Hulu recently launched its Live TV service, Apple has failed to launch a similar streaming package that could allow users to cut their cable subscription itself. Apple TV hardware also lags behind other rivals in terms of sales. In addition, while Netflix and Amazon have launched a series of acclaimed original shows, Apple’s have thus far tended toward hip hop-oriented documentaries, and light entertainment like Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke, aimed at Apple Music subscribers.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard that Apple is speaking with senior entertainment industry execs, however. Back in March, three senior Apple executives were reported as being in talks with Hollywood’s “most successful” TV and movie producers about creating original content for Apple TV. According to the New York Post, Cupertino has a small team of big names trying to secure deals with Hollywood.

Other senior names involved with Apple’s video content include Eddy Cue, Apple Music head Jimmy Iovine and content chief Robert Kondrk.

What do you think of Apple’s original programming efforts? Leave your comments below.