Paul Schreiber has been upped to president of North America at Carsey-Werner Television, taking over all day-to-day distribution operations for the company, which houses a library that includes “That ’70s Show” and “3rd Rock from the Sun.” The news was announced on Tuesday by COO Bob Dubelko.
Schreiber replaces domestic distribution president Jim Kraus, spent 20 years leading Carsey-Werner’s distribution operation and who will now take a senior consultant role with the company. Kraus, whose 45-year career in TV syndication included a lengthy stint at MCA-TV (then Universal’s syndication unit), first joined Carsey-Werner in 1999 as exec VP/general sales manager.
As for Schreiber, he’s also a Carsey-Werner longtimer, having first joined the company 26 years ago, back when Carsey-Werner was still active in first-run production. Carsey-Werner exited the active production realm in 2005 but kept a small staff going to continue handling its lucrative library. In recent years, Carsey-Werner has seen some first-run activity again thanks to revivals including “The Conners” on ABC, and now “That ’90s Show” on Netflix.
In his elevated role, Schreiber will oversee distribution and licensing efforts for the Carsey-Werner’s more than 2,000 half-hours of off-network scripted comedies, handling sales for basic cable, digital broadcasting and streaming for both the U.S. and Canada. He’ll also marketing, research, affiliate relations, publicity, corporate communications and digital entertainment strategies.
Most immediately, that will also include selling “The Conners,” now in its fifth season, into off-network syndication. The Carsey-Werner catalog also includes “Grace Under Fire,” “Grounded for Life,” “A Different World” and two shows that for obvious reasons haven’t been as front and center in recent years: “The Cosby Show” and “Roseanne.”
“Paul has played a key role in the success of Carsey-Werner Television, working closely together with Jim over their many years here together,” Dubelko said. “He has shown outstanding leadership skills since he first arrived, working tirelessly to back up Jim in sales and sales management while bringing a strategic understanding of research to his job – along with big, innovative marketing ideas that have provided incalculable promotional value to our many clients.”
Kraus, who worked closely with Schreiber for more than two decades, described his successor “as the best sales executive I’ve ever worked with.”
The company, founded by Marcy Carsey and Tom Werner, is executive producing Netflix’s upcoming “That ‘90s Show,” which reunites Carsey and Werner with “That ‘70s Show” creators Bonnie and Terry Turner.
Added Dubelko: “Paul has learned from the very best. Jim knows the off-network business like no other. Despite the changing television landscape, he has used his experience and expertise time and again throughout the decades by providing a massive footprint for our library of iconic sitcom titles, which continue to resonate among younger generations. I’m thrilled Jim has agreed to remain on-board in his new capacity so he can continue to provide his wisdom to us in his new advisory role.”
Besides Carsey-Werner and MCA-TV, Kraus’ other stops included Telepictures and MGM TV. Schreiber first joined Carsey-Werner in 1996 as a Midwest divisional manager, working his way up to exec VP, a position he has held since 2010.