NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) – Longtime HBO EVP of Corporate Communications Quentin Schaffer will be stepping down from his post next month after 39 years with the network.
Schaffer made the announcement Monday in an email to his colleagues.
His departure comes just five months after the executive shakeup at WarnerMedia, in which HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler was among several top executives exiting as NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt was brought in to oversee HBO, Turner and WarnerMedia’s upcoming streaming service.
Based in New York, Schaffer joined the company as a senior publicist in 1980. Over the course of his career with the network, he has been responsible for all consumer press outreach, talent relations, special events, awards campaigns, trade advertising, CSR and corporate affairs. He pioneered the first premiere of a television show in a theater with Sex and the City back in 1999, was one of the originators of HBO’s successful Emmy Awards campaign, saw through the press launch of HBO NOW with Apple, and helped steer publicity and Emmy campaigns for such landmark HBO series as “Game of Thrones,” “The Sopranos,” “Sex and the City,” “The Wire,” “Big Little Lies” and “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.”
“HBO has been an amazing place to work alongside the brightest and most creative people I’ve ever come across, particularly the communications team,” Schaffer said in a statement. “What made it special was that we always had an enviable slate of programming to work with. In looking back, I feel lucky to have had the greatest temporary job in the business. For 39 years. With Kevin (Brockman) now here, the team is in good hands and I can feel comfortable moving on.”
You can read Schaffer’s email to staff below:
To: HBO Staff
Fm: Quentin Schaffer
FADE IN. When I first began at HBO, I was sent to Nashville to cover a country music special. The legendary rock star Jerry Lee Lewis threatened my life because he didn’t like an innocent question I had asked for a press release. My HBO career appeared to be over after only 30 days. Little did I know that he was merely joking with me and little did I know I’d be at HBO 39 years (yes, longer than Glenn Whitehead). FLASH AHEAD as I look back on an amazing career and the honor of running HBO’s top-notch PR operation.
FOCUS ON A MONTAGE OF MEMORIES that included a screening of Band of Brothers on the beaches of Normandy with the men of Easy Company, my 15 minutes as Michael Jackson’s spokesman in 1995, a visit to Nelson Mandela’s office while in Johannesburg for the Whitney Houston concert, being in Moscow right after Perestroika for a screening of Stalin (I shouldn’t have been there as my daughter was born the same time), the barrage of calls after The Sopranos went to black, the first ever screening of a TV Show for Sex and the City, more than 100 TCA press tours with the likes of Billy Joel, Britney Spears, George Clooney, Monica Lewinsky, 8 Rock n Roll Hall of Fame ceremonies, events at the White House with Bill Clinton and then Barack Obama as well as a screening in Kennebunkport with both Presidents Bush, a daring visit to the West Bank to see the Church of the Nativity, set visits to Rome and Belfast and the final season premiere at Radio City Music Hall for Game of Thrones with 42 cast members, 1500 HBO employees and 5000 guests. Oh, and perhaps most importantly, I met my wife here.
CUT TO Present Day. Throughout my HBO career I’ve always been able to answer Yes to the two questions essential to ask in any job: Am I having fun and am I still learning. So many of you have made that possible as you were the brightest, kindest, funniest and most special people I could ever have worked with, starting at the top with my boss of 28 years Richard Plepler and my dear colleague of 35 years Nancy Lesser. Thanks to you all for such a great experience. It’s been the greatest temporary job. For 39 years. And now, when summer ends, I’ve decided to move onto something new. My wife has convinced me I could have just as much fun and learn new things if I spent more time with her. CUT TO BLACK (courtesy of David Chase).