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Amazon Studios’ New Power Player

Earlier this year, as Hollywood agents and producers struggled to divine a programming strategy coming from Amazon Studios and its leader Roy Price, some employees at the studio quietly delivered a message to the creative community: Avoid the confusion and bring your projects to Sharon, one industry executive recalled.

It was a reference to Sharon Tal Yguado, a 43-year-old executive who had joined the company only last January to lead a newly formed “Event Series” division that focuses on science fiction, fantasy and other big-budget, fan-driven projects. Since her hiring, she made enough of a mark that after Mr. Price and his lieutenant Joe Lewis were ousted last month, Ms. Tal Yguado was elevated to oversee all drama, comedy and VR-related programming.

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The bigger question is Amazon’s commitment to original video. Amazon executives have said that Prime Video viewers tend to buy more goods on Amazon. But there may come a point when the company decides it doesn’t need to develop its own shows to keep its viewers happy, and can focus on carrying other streaming services as it already does. If the new team at the studio fails to develop a big hit, that question may become more pressing.

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Joe Lonsdale
Joe Lonsdale
Founding Partner, Eight
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Ms. Tal Yguado chafed at her inability to commission shows directly for U.S. networks.