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ABC Digital Boss Albert Cheng Lands at Amazon

He'll be COO at Amazon Studios, which also hired Hollywood distribution veteran Bob Berney.

Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Albert Cheng, who left his longtime role as ABC’s chief digital exec in April, has a new gig: He’s the chief operating officer at Amazon Studios, the Amazon unit that makes original TV shows and movies for the e-commerce giant.

Amazon has been creating its own TV shows for a couple of years, and while its home-grown programming doesn’t have the breadth or usage of rival Netflix, it does have a bit of momentum in Hollywood, in large part because of its critically acclaimed “Transparent” series.

Albert Cheng

At ABC, Cheng was best known as the guy who helped bring the network’s TV shows to the Internet, via streaming websites and apps. Amazon says he will oversee “Amazon Studios’ efforts across all business operations and software development.” Cheng will report to Amazon Studios head Roy Price, another Disney veteran.

Amazon also wants to get into the movie business, and is bolstering those efforts by hiring Bob Berney, a Hollywood executive best known for marketing indie hits including “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and “The Passion of the Christ.” Berney, who will head up distribution and marketing for Amazon Studios’ movies, was most recently CEO of Picturehouse, a small movie distributor he relaunched two years ago.

In January, Amazon said it wants to create a dozen new movies a year. The plan is to bring them to theaters first, and then show them to Amazon Prime members 30-60 days after their debut — much faster than Hollywood’s traditional distribution “window.”

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