Nicole LaPorte goes behind-the-scenes with HBO CEO Richard Plepler in a feature story for Fast Company:
By the time of Murdoch’s bid, Plepler says, he had already
called up his old friend Jimmy Iovine to help him execute a
pivot. Plepler had done PR for Iovine years earlier, at Warner
Music. Iovine had sold Beats, the headphone business he owned
with Dr. Dre, to Apple in May, for $3 billion. Plepler asked if
Iovine thought Apple would be interested in being the lead
distributor of HBO Now. Iovine didn’t hesitate: “I think that’s
the shit,” he said.
Plepler also reached out to Time Warner board member Paul Wachter,
who worked on the Apple-Beats deal in his day job as an investment
banker. Wachter connected him with Apple’s digital media chief,
Eddy Cue, who came to New York for a meeting in Plepler’s office.
Plepler explained that he needed a distributor, and that HBO Now
would be ready by the spring (when Game of Thrones’ season 5 would
bow). Cue tells me that he wanted to do the deal with HBO “the