Two months after corporate parent WarnerMedia enlisted Kevin Brockman as its head of PR, HBO’s head of corporate communications is set to exit following an impressive 39-year run.
Quentin Schaffer on Monday announced his plans to depart the premium cable network. The executive vp corporate communications, who previously reported to former HBO CEO Richard Plepler, will leave the company in August. Schaffer revealed the news via a heartfelt internal memo. (Read that in its entirety, below.)
“HBO has been an amazing place to work alongside the brightest and most creative people I’ve ever come across, particularly the communications team. What made it special was that we always had an enviable slate of programming to work with. In looking back, I feel lucky to have had the greatest temporary job in the business. For 39 years. With Kevin now here, the team is in good hands and I can feel comfortable moving on,” Schaffer said in a statement.
Schaffer joined HBO in 1980 as a senior publicist and rose through the ranks until he was named senior vp corporate communications in 1999. He was responsible for all consumer press outreach, talent relations, special events, awards campaigns, trade advertising and corporate affairs. Schaffer pioneered the first premiere of a TV show in a theater with Sex and the City in 1999, was among the originators of HBO’s Emmy campaigns and saw through the launch of HBO Now with Apple and campaigns for Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, Big Little Lies and many more. He reported to Plepler for the past 28 years. Plepler stepped down in February after a nearly three-decade run after seeing his autonomy reduced when WarnerMedia brought in former NBC Entertainment president Bob Greenblatt to oversee creative for HBO Max and cable networks HBO, TBS, TNT and more.
“I’ve been doing PR for a long time and have always admired the magic of HBO’s amazing publicity machine, first from afar and now close-up. I know how big a part Quentin played in leading those efforts, and in keeping the brand alive, and was sad to learn of his decision to leave,” said Brockman, who serves as executive vp global communications for Warner Media Entertainment and its direct-to-consumer platform HBO Max. “But I’m glad I got the chance to work with him, if only for a few months. On behalf of everyone at the company, I want to thank him for his many contributions. After 39 years, he deserves a break.”
Schaffer is the latest high-ranking executive to depart after AT&T acquired Time Warner (and rebranded the company as WarnerMedia). Others to exit the company include president and chief revenue officer Simon Sutton, global distribution topper Bernadette Aulestia and HBO miniseries and Cinemax president Kary Antholis.―Hollywood Reporter