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Apple taps ex-Sony presidents

Apple has appointed the two departing presidents of Sony Pictures Television (SPT) to newly created positions overseeing video at the tech giant.

Zack Van Amburg (left) and Jamie Erlicht

Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, who last week announced to Sony staff they would be leaving the studio this summer, will lead video programming for Apple worldwide.

The pair will report to Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior VP of internet software and services, and arrive at Apple with a list of credits that include AMC’s Breaking Bad, its spin-off Better Call Saul and Netflix original The Crown.

Van Amburg, who joined Sony in 1997, and Erlicht, who started in 2002, were appointed presidents of US programming and production at SPT in 2005.

“Jamie and Zack are two of the most talented TV executives in the world and have been instrumental in making this the golden age of television,” said Cue.

“We have exciting plans in store for customers and can’t wait for them to bring their expertise to Apple — there is much more to come.”

“We want to bring to video what Apple has been so successful with in their other services and consumer products: unparalleled quality,” said Erlicht.

“Apple has a relentless focus on delighting customers with their products,” added Van Amburg. “We will bring that same intention to Apple’s programming and we could not be more excited about what lies ahead.”

Apple’s long-mooted move into video is beginning to take shape, with the launch earlier this month of Will.i.am-fronted competition reality show Planet of the Apps, from Howard Owens and Ben Silverman’s Propagate Content.

The premiere date for its series Carpool Karaoke, which emerged from James Corden’s late-night talkshow on CBS, has been confirmed for August 8.

But the appointment of Amburg and Erlicht signals a much more significant effort and comes as Facebook also gets into the original video business.

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