Warner Bros. Discovery has changed its plans for Turner Classic Movies (TCM) with longtime programming director Charles Tabesh expected to stay on.
Additionally, the company has partnered with filmmakers Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, and Paul Thomas Anderson to help curate content for TCM.
Tabesh has been a TCM executive for 25 years and has served as senior vice president of programming and content strategy at TCM since 2005. He was due to leave as part of the network’s downsizing.
He now remains in his post and will report to the cinema heads of Warner Bros. Mike DeLuca and Pam Abdy. Spielberg, Scorsese and Anderson said in a joint statement Wednesday:
“We have already started working on ideas with Mike and Pam, two true movie buffs who share a passion and respect for classic cinema that is the hallmark of the TCM community.
This unique arrangement, initiated by David Zaslav, reflects his commitment to honoring the legacy of TCM while also involving us in curatorial and programming.
We are thrilled that longtime programmer Charlie Tabesh will remain with TCM and happy to know that the team is focused on preserving TCM’s mission to celebrate our rich cinematic history while ensuring that future generations of filmmakers and moviegoers have TCM as a valuable resource.”
News of the departure of Tabesh and TCM CEO Pola Changnon sparked outrage from the industry, including the three directors who later had an emergency phone meeting with WBD CEO David Zaslav.
Under the new structure, De Luca and Abdy will organize and oversee all of TCM’s on-screen creations in tandem with the three directors. The distribution and technology aspects of TCM will remain with WB Discovery’s US Networks group overseen by Kathleen Finch.
A spokesperson for Warner Bros. Discovery said in a statement Wednesday, “TCM is a cultural treasure that WBD is fully committed to safeguarding, supporting and investing in for the future” and added that the company has increased TCM’s content budget by 30% for 2023 .