Apple has hired former WGN America President Matt Cherniss to oversee a $1 billion investment in acquiring new video content, The Wall Street Journal reports. After hemming and hawing on the sidelines for years and dabbling in video projects to bolster its Apple Music product, Apple is ready to produce as many as 10 original TV shows, according to sources familiar with the matter. The $1 billion investment is about half of what HBO spent on its own content last year and roughly on par with what Amazon spent in 2013, the year after it moved into the video content business. Apple has been feeling out original content deals with Hollywood power players for months — if not years — but got serious in June when it hired Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, two senior television executives from Sony Pictures Television. Erlicht and Van Amburg, hired to oversee all aspects of the company’s video programming efforts, have been holding meetings to see what types of shows are available for outright purchase and have brought on Cherniss to oversee development.
Apple hires adds to video executive team, plans $1B investment in video content
By Dan Pye