*After serving nearly two decades as the president of Oprah Winfrey’s film company, Kate Forte has left the building.
The Los Angeles-based executive ran Harpo Films for 18 years before leaving, which is effective immediately, reports Variety. The move comes as Harpo Films is set to make a corporate shift and become part of Harpo Studios.
According to Variety, Harpo Studios is also planning to launch a new scripted division, to help increase programming that can be sold to both broadcast and cable outlets. Harpo Films has not had much output in recent years and one of the jobs of the new president will be to ramp up activity.
Harpo Films, which also creates theatrical fare, is currently in a long-term deal with HBO, and that pact will continue. On the film side, Harpo produced the 2007 Denzel Washington drama “The Great Debaters.”
HBO was recently in development with Harpo on a project about an academic who becomes the first black president of a prestigious liberal arts school. Forte was set to exec produce with Oprah Winfrey.
Another project that Harpo was producing was a big screen adaptation of the bestselling novel “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle,” with Wentworth Miller attached as a writer. “Sawtelle” is in development at Universal.
Forte first came to Harpo in 1990. She arrived from Marian Rees Associates, where she helped developed several Hallmark Hall of Fame productions.