A week after Warner Bros. announced that studio chairman Toby Emmerich would step down from his position, one of his closest lieutenants, chief operating officer Carolyn Blackwood, is also making her exit.
Blackwood’s departure was an expected step in the ongoing leadership shift at the studio under Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, who is installing his own leaders and organizational structure. Outgoing MGM chiefs Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy are taking over Emmerich’s position as studio heads, while new leadership is being considered for Warner Animation Group and DC Films as well.
Blackwood was promoted to COO in 2019, having worked closely with Emmerich since their days at New Line Cinema. Blackwood had been the president and chief content officer of New Line prior to her promotion and continued that role as COO alongside Richard Brener while overseeing physical production, business affairs, film acquisitions and live stage events among other duties for Warner.
Under Blackwood’s leadership, New Line Cinema became one of the leading producers of horror films in Hollywood, led by James Wan’s “Conjuring” franchise, which have grossed $2.1 billion at the global box office from eight films. The studio also grossed $1.16 billion from Andy Muschietti’s pair of films adapting Stephen King’s “It,” with the first film in 2017 holding the record for the highest grossing horror film of all time with $701 million worldwide.
Last week, the studio announced that Emmerich would transition into a new role as the head of his own production studio, with Warner Bros. signing a five year financing and distribution deal for all of the currently unnamed outlet’s films.