The former HBO CEO is in talks to join Apple TV Plus
Richard Plepler, the former CEO of HBO, is in talks to join Apple's recently launched streaming service, Apple TV Plus, in a production deal to develop new original content, according to multiple outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Deadline, and The Hollywood Reporter.An Apple representative did not immediately return a request for comment from Business Insider. Apple declined to comment to Deadline and THR.
Plepler resigned from his role at HBO in February after AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner (now WarnerMedia). He joined the premium cable network in 1992 and became CEO in 2012.
Plepler joining Apple would be a huge boost to the company's TV production efforts. Under Plepler, HBO continued to be an awards darling with hits like "Game of Thrones" and "Big Little Lies." Apple TV Plus launched November 1 with a few original TV shows that received subpar review from critics and no library of licensed content.
Under Plepler, HBO built on its reputation in the entertainment industry for being committed to a Sunday night lineup of prestige television. But AT&T wasn't shy about its new intentions for HBO after it bought the company. AT&T emphasized that it wanted to beef up the amount of content at HBO to compete in the streaming age.
"It's not hours a week, and it's not hours in a month," WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey said last year. "We need hours a day. You are competing with devices that sit in people's hands that capture their attention every 15 minutes. I want more hours of engagement."
Plepler was one of a string of execs who left HBO after AT&T assumed control and took the network in a new direction. WarnerMedia is launching a new streaming service, HBO Max, in May, for $15 per month. It will include content from HBO as well as the rest of WarnerMedia's library, including Warner Bros. and DC.