Steve Mosko to depart as Sony Pictures TV chairman after contract talks fail

Steve Mosko, who turned Sony Pictures Television into one of the most powerful production forces in the programming industry, is departing his post as chairman after spending the last 24 years at the studio.

According to Variety, which broke the story, Mosko has been pushing Sony Entertainment chief Michael Lynton for a larger role in the company — reportedly bigger than just TV — and he was unable to come to terms on a renewal for his contract. 

Under Mosko's watch, Sony has slew of prime-time hits that have bolster major cable programming brands, such as the seminal Breaking Bad for AMC and Showtime's Masters of Sex, just to name a few shows. 

Mosko is credited with expanding the Sony brand into more than 180 countries overseas, as well as growing Sony streaming service Crackle and the cable channel GSN.

Variety speculates that a successor will likely emerge from Mosko's top lieutenants, which include Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht.

Mosko was hired at Sony back in 1992 to handle station sales under former syndication chief Barry Thurston. He assumed control of Sony's TV studio 10 years later, after its corporate overseers had gutted the operation of all prime-time production wherewithal.

The popular Mosko is widely seen as a galvanizing executive who managed to rebuild SPT into a powerful programming voice with smart choices and lean production operations. 

Mosko's exit was confirmed by other showbiz trades, including the Hollywood Reporter, which noted a Lynton email that leaked 18 months ago, as part of the hacking scandal that shook the broader Sony Entertainment kingdom.

"Steve Mosko is actively campaigning to be made COO of SPE," Lynton wrote in an email to Nicole Seligman, then SPE's president, according to emails made public in the hack.

Seligman responded with, "Steve/COO? Oy."

For more:
- read this Variety story
- read this Hollywood Reporter story

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