Amazon Studios has appointed former NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke as its new boss four months after the previous head, Roy Price, left amid sexual harassment allegations.

Salke will report in to Jeff Blackburn, Amazon’s senior VP of business development and digital entertainment.

Amazon COO Albert Cheng, who has been in charge since Price’s departure, will report in to Salke as will Brad Beale, VP of content acquisition and Jason Ropell, head of film.

During her time at NBC, Salke pushed through hit shows including This is Us. Before NBC, Salke was executive vice president of creative affairs at 20th Century Fox TV where she helped develop and promote shows including Modern Family, Prison Break and Glee.

Salke joins Amazon Studios at a time when Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is understood to want the studio to move away from its more left field originals like Transparent (pictured) and aim for broader big budget content. The studio recently paid $250 million in a rights deal with Lord of the Rings franchise with multiple series planned. It’s also recently ordered a Conan the Barbarian series.

“I’m incredibly excited about the future at Amazon Studios,” Salke said. “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.”

“What stood out about Jen was the deep relationships she has nurtured with creators and talent over her career, spanning NBCU, 20th Century Fox, and Aaron Spelling Productions,” Jeff Blackburn said. “She’s built an impeccable reputation as a big leader who emphasizes creativity, collaboration, and teamwork.”

Staff Reporter

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