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Apple Worldwide Video's LA office poaches Amazon Studios exec Morgan Wandell

Apple's increasingly aggressive moves to establish internal production of creative content now include hiring Morgan Wandell from Amazon Studios.


Morgan Wandell, former head of international video at Amazon Studio


Apple earlier made waves in June when it hired two executives from Sony Pictures Television: Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, responsible for programming including "Breaking Bad" and "The Goldbergs."

According to a report by Cynthia Littleton for Variety, the duo had also worked with Wandell in the development of "Sneaky Pete," a Sony Pictures pilot that moved to Amazon.

Wandell, who has worked at Amazon since 2013, initially worked in drama development on "The Man in the High Castle" and "Goliath," and the upcoming shows "Carnival Row," "Jack Ryan" and "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." Prior to joining Amazon, he served as head of drama at ABC Studios.

Last year, he shifted to a role in international creative development at Amazon, and will be handling a similar responsibility at Apple. Wandell will be reporting to Erlicht and Van Amburg, who are now the Chief Content Officers of Apple's Worldwide Video business. Those executives report to Eddy Cue, Apple's Senior VP of Internet Software and Services.

The recruiting effort was reportedly "in the works" for months, prior to the removal of Amazon Studios president Roy Price related to allegations of sexual harassment.

Apple Worldwide Video is based in the company's Culver City office located near Sony Pictures and the La Cienega Expo facility that Apple is rumored to be leasing for video production. Culver City is south of Hollywood, between Santa Monica and downtown Los Angeles.

After some initial experiments related to Apple Music features, Apple has made original content a significant priority. Just as the company's App Store titles (including Final Cut Pro, Keynote and Garage Band) have created exclusive content promoting the sales of Macs and iOS devices, original video production is seen as a way to bolster Apple Music subscription programming and sales of hardware including Apple TV.

While Netflix, Hulu, Disney—and soon Amazon—content is viewable on Apple TV, original Apple Music content is exclusive to Apple's hardware and can't be played on Amazon Fire, Google, Roku and Microsoft products.