Amazon Studios rejigs content team for SVOD, AVOD & FAST pipelines

The Boys

Amazon Studios has restructured its US & global TV creative development team under head of TV Vernon Sanders, to create “specialised pipelines” of original content for SVOD, AVOD and FAST.

Sanders took on the role at the The Boys and The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power studio last year following the promotion of Albert Cheng to COO, with the team changes coming just two weeks after head of global development Marc Resteghini stepped down.

In a memo to staff, Sanders explained that he was implementing a new organisational structure “designed to generate multiple, specialised pipelines of original content for our SVOD, AVOD and FAST customers.

“We will now have multiple, distinct, creative development teams each managed by highly talented executives who will join me in leading a world class global TV organisation for Amazon Studios.”

As part of the restructure, Laura Lancaster, who currently leads the series department for SVOD Prime Video, has been promoted to head of US SVOD TV development and series – co-productions. In this expanded role, Lancaster will oversee all co-production driven original content, as well as continuing to lead the series team.

Vernon Sanders

Reporting to her are Jon Wax and Andy Bourne, who will co-lead a team of development executives to generate new scripted series, both in the role of head of development – co-productions. Kara Smith, meanwhile, becomes head of limited series.

Lancaster’s team will develop both wholly owned properties as well as working with co-production partners on limited run titles.

Nick Pepper, who was previously leading the studio creative content division has also seen his role expanded to become head of US SVOD TV development and series – wholly owned.

His team will continue to focus on “securing big, global IP, establishing the creative framework to build compelling, interconnected universes and new synergistic content with our Amazon Global Media & Entertainment (GME) partners” according to an internal memo from Sanders.

Ryan Andolina has also been promoted to head of comedy and drama development. He will now report to Pepper, as will Matt King, who will add genre development to his duties to become head of tentpole, genre and universe development of wholly owned content; and head of animation, Melissa Wolfe.

Elsewhere, Lauren Anderson, who was recently appointed as head of AVOD programming and studios unscripted for Prime Video and Freevee, will add YA, faith and family to her remit.

Joining her team is former BET Networks executive Traci Blackwell, who will be focused on expanding “YA, faith-based, and culturally-diverse content offerings” for the streamers, while Christel Miller will lead AVOD scripted development.

“We are extremely fortunate to have this group of dynamic leaders guide Amazon Studios towards achieving our ambitious goals,” wrote Sanders in the memo.

“While we believe this is the structure to best serve our future, we also know this transition will take time to ensure we have the best experience for and relationships with our creative partners.”

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