Warner Bros. TV Group prexy Bruce Rosenblum was keeping mum Saturday night on a report that he is planning to step down within the next two weeks from the studio he has called home for more than 20 years.
The news of Rosenblum's departure had been expected for months, even since he was passed over for the top CEO job on the Warners lot, which went to former homvid/digital chief Kevin Tsujihara. Rosenblum by many accounts had let friends and colleagues know that he was planning to move on after the end of the all-important pilot selling season, which culminates during the next week with the broadcast network upfront presentations in Gotham, which kick off Monday with NBC and Fox.
Many on the lot knew that Rosenblum's departure was a matter of time. It's a testament to their respect for the exec that rumors and speculation about the future were kept to a minimum. But it's understood that top execs have quietly been anxious for some time given the sense of limbo for the TV wing after Tsujihara got the nod in late January. He took the CEO baton from Barry Meyer on March 1.
Rosenblum through a studio rep declined comment. He had intended to attend the parade of upfronts in Gotham this week, though it was not immediately clear if he was in fact making the trek to New York.
The lack of a clear successor raises big questions for the management of the studio's biggest profit-generating divisions. Tsujihara has less experience in TV than in other areas of WB operations. Having multiple direct reports could well be overwhelming as he's not even six months into his tenure as CEO. In this scenario, Tsujihara's predecessor, Barry Meyer, is likely to play an even more vital role. Meyer remains chairman of the studio through year's end.
Rosenblum came to the Burbank lot in 1989 as part of the studio's acquisition of Lorimar Telepictures. At present he also serves as chairman-CEO of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.