Michael Ouweleen has been named president of Warner Bros.’s Adult Swim — a newly created role.
- Ouweleen will head Cartoon Network’s adult programming block, which he helped launch in 2001. He will move full-time into the role in the summer. He is currently serving as Warner Bros.’s interim president of global kids, young adults, and classics.
- Ouweleen’s current role, which Tom Ascheim will take on full-time on July 1, is also new. It was created after the unexpected resignation in November of Christina Miller, who had served as president of Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, and Boomerang. Ascheim will oversee all three as well as the Turner Classic Movies channel, and will also manage the studios of Cartoon Network and Warner Bros. Animation. As Adult Swim president, Ouweleen will report to Ascheim and Warner Bros. CEO Ann Sarnoff.
- Ouweleen will be responsible for all aspects of content planning, development, windowing, marketing, and creative for Adult Swim and its properties globally across all company-owned platforms and third-party partners. He’ll also have oversight of linear programming, streaming, digital products, live events, and mobile games related to Adult Swim shows, characters, and other IP. He’ll continue to serve as executive producer on its series Birdgirl.
- Adult Swim is the most-watched network in the age brackets 18-34 and 18-49, reaching 94 million U.S. homes. Ouweleen served as its creative director at launch, and contributed one of its first shows, Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law (image at top), which he co-created, co-executive produced, and co-wrote. He also helped launch Boomerang, in both its linear and streaming incarnations.
- He’s since held senior content and brand positions at Cartoon Network, and spearheaded its transition into live-action and long-form programming. Most recently, he was chief marketing officer for Cartoon Network, Boomerang, and Adult Swim.
- “It’s fitting that Michael has been named head of Adult Swim as he was one of the platform’s founders,” said Sarnoff. “He’s got animated blood running through his veins, and his humor and comedic sensibilities are a big part of Adult Swim’s success. This promotion is most deserved and will help us strategically grow this crucial part of our young adult business.”
- AT&T’s Warnermedia has seen a good deal of reshuffling and restructuring in recent years as it resets its cable brands for the streaming age. Its streaming platform HBO Max will launch on May 27.