Amazon hires NBC executive Salke to run video studio

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(Reuters) – Inc (AMZN.O) has hired Jennifer Salke, president of NBC Entertainment, to run its video studio, the online retailer’s interim studio chief Albert Cheng said in a Twitter post on Friday.

The move ended months of limbo for Amazon’s entertainment division. Amazon Studios has been working to shake up its programming lineup in the absence of a permanent chief since October, when Roy Price resigned after a sexual harassment allegation. Price has contested the claim.

Hiring Salke, who has overseen the development of comedies and dramas at the network as president since 2011, has been behind shows such as “This is Us,” “The Blacklist,” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” and previously was executive vice president of creative affairs at Twentieth Century Fox Television.

Salke will be in charge of Amazon’s blockbuster bet on a television prequel to “The Lord of the Rings,” a leap away from the niche content the studio was used to producing. People familiar with the matter say the studio offered $250 million for the fantasy series’ rights alone. The bill will climb as Amazon invests in production and marketing for multiple seasons.

Reporting By Jeffrey Dastin in San Francisco, Jessica Toonkel in New York and Lisa Richwine in Los Angeles; Editing by Andrew Hay and Paul Simao