Apple recruits Amazon Studios execs for its original content team

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Apple is building up an impressive team for its original programming.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple has recruited three executives from Amazon Studios, who will help Apple further grow its original programming ambitions.

The new employees include Tara Sorensen, former head of Amazon kids’ programming, who will join Apple to pursue a similar role; international development executive Carina Walker, who joins Apple as a creative executive; and business affairs chief Tara Pietri, who will head up Apple’s legal affairs division.

The departures are significant for Amazon, which has recently experienced a shake-up in its executive ranks. Amazon Studios president Roy Prince left Amazon Studios in October, after being accused of sexual harassment. Joe Lewis, Amazon’s top drama and comedy executive, left the company soon after, as did head of unscripted programming Conrad Riggs.

Apple, meanwhile, continues to build up a roster of impressive creative executives. Earlier this month, we reported that two business affairs executives — Philip Matthys from Hulu and Jennifer Wang Grazier from Legendary Entertainment — have joined the company to occupy roles on the company’s video content team. Back in October, Apple recruited Amazon Studios alumni Morgan Wandell to head up its international development initiatives.

Apple reportedly plans spend a $1 billion “war chest” on original programming in 2018, which could rise to $4.2 billion per year by 2022.

So far, Apple’s greenlit original programming includes an Amazing Stories reboot from Steven Spielberg, a news-business comedy starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, and a sci-fi drama series from the show runner of Outlander. No dates have been announced for when these will debut, or how Apple plans to distribute them.

Source: Variety