Sarah Wright

Source: Sky

Sarah Wright

Sarah Wright, group director of acquisitions at UK broadcaster Sky, is to step down after 13 years at the company, according to Screen’s sister publication Broadcast.

Wright, who is also director of Sky Cinema, has decided to take some time out to focus on her writing and executive coaching ambitions, following a tenure which included buying Modern Family and leading on the initial HBO deal which brought Game Of Thrones to the UK and made the launch of Sky Atlantic possible.

The broadcaster is in the process of seeking a replacement for Wright, who was described by Sky managing director Zai Bennett as a “world class deal maker, wise counsel and caring team leader” in a note to staff.

Bennett will take responsibility for the acquisitions team – comprising Lucy Criddle, Katie Keenan, Jasmin Morrison, James Newton and Julia Stuart – until a replacement is found.

Wright joined Sky from UKTV as head of programme acquisitions in 2009 and has gone on to lead numerous negotiations, including output deals with all the major US studios, as well as securing recent tentpole events such as And Just Like That and Friends: The Reunion. The rights deals struck have enabled the launch of an array of cutting-edge platforms and services including Now TV, Sky Go, Sky Q and Sky Glass.

She was promoted to director of Sky Cinema in 2019 following the departure of Ian Lewis and steered a shift into originations, growing a 52-strong slate during the pandemic.

Wright was handed an expanded European-wide acquisitions remit in May 2021 as Sky created a centralised hub structure.

Bennett said she has been responsible for 13 “brilliant” years.

“Sarah has been behind bringing some of the most iconic shows to Sky and this is testament to the quality and longevity of her extensive commercial relationships, particularly with the Hollywood studios,” he added.

“Legacy is really important to Sarah and it is testament to that drive for excellence that she leaves a world class pan-European acquisitions and original film and cinema team to carry on the good work they’re already delivering. Acquisitions is a vital part of our content offering, even more so as we collaborate ever more closely across the group to bring huge content events to our customers.”