A Conversation with Richard Plepler, Chairman & CEO, Home Box Office

Wednesday, May 22, 2019
12:30 pm to 2:00 pm ET
New York

Richard Plepler
Chairman & CEO
Home Box Office

Richard Plepler is Chairman and CEO of Home Box Office, Inc., responsible for the overall management of the world’s most successful pay TV service, which provides the two television networks – HBO and Cinemax – to 142 million subscribers in over 60 countries and its programming into over 150 countries worldwide.  He was named to this position in January 2013.

During his tenure as CEO, Plepler implemented a distribution strategy that stressed optionality for potential HBO subscribers. By expanding the HBO service offerings with the creation of HBO NOW®, the company’s standalone streaming service, and with new digital distributors such as Amazon Channels, Apple, Roku and Hulu, HBO experienced the largest growth in the company’s history. 

The multi-lateral approach included international operations as well with standalone services now available across HBO’s footprint in Central Europe, Latin America, Asia, the Nordic countries and Spain. At the same time, HBO has significantly increased indigenous programming in these regions that is incredibly popular among local viewers.

A brand known for excellence, HBO curates over 3000 hours of content on its platforms, including original series, documentaries, HBO Films, and HBO Sports. Under Plepler’s leadership, HBO continues to raise the bar with some of the most innovative, honored and critically respected programming on television.  This was recognized with 23 Primetime Emmys® in 2018, the most of any network for the 17th year in a row. HBO won top honors including Outstanding Drama Series (Game of Thrones) and Outstanding Variety Talk Series (Last Week Tonight with John Oliver). Game of Thrones, HBO’s most viewed series ever, continues to hold the record for the most Emmy Awards® ever won by a scripted series with a lifetime total of 47 Emmys®. 

As Co-President from 2007 to 2012, Plepler greenlit some of HBO’s most successful series including Emmy® Award-winners Game of Thrones, Girls, and Veep as well as True Blood, Boardwalk Empire and The Newsroom. Additional award-winning programs included the miniseries Mildred Pierce and The Pacific along with the films Behind the Candelabra, Too Big to Fail, and Game Change. Plepler also shepherded Cinemax’s first foray into primetime originals with the popular action series Strike Back.

Plepler, who joined HBO in 1992, has received numerous accolades over his career: he has been inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame by The Cable Center (2018) and Broadcasting and Cable magazine’s Hall of Fame (2013); named Media Person of the Year by The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity (2014); earned the Directorate Emmy Award® for his impact on the industry from the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (2015); the prestigious Driver of Change Award at the FT ArcelorMittel Boldness in Business Awards (2015); and the Variety Vanguard Award for contribution to the TV business (2017). 

Plepler serves on the Board of Directors for the Council on Foreign Relations and the Board of Trustees for the Museum of the Moving Image, the Asia Society and the New York Public Library. He also serves on the National Advisory Board of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research. 

Plepler resides in Connecticut with his wife Lisa and daughter Eden.


Nicolle Wallace
Host, Deadline: White House

Nicolle Wallace is a journalist, author, and the host of “Deadline: White House,” airing weeknights at 4 p.m. ET on MSNBC. The program provides in-depth reporting and dynamic discussions on the political stories driving the news cycle, as Wallace brings viewers the latest political developments of the day, in addition to interviews with leading newsmakers and influential politicians.
Before joining MSNBC full-time, Wallace had a storied career both on-air and in government. She is a former co-host of ABC’s “The View,” and prior to her role hosting MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House” Wallace served as a frequent contributor to the network. Wallace continues to serve as an NBC political analyst across NBC Nightly News, TODAY Show and more, and provided in-depth 2016 election reporting and commentary in segments and series including “In Trump We Trust.” She is a former White House Communications Chief under George W. Bush, and served as a senior advisor for the John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign.
In addition to this work, Wallace is the bestselling author of three political novels: Eighteen Acres, It’s Classified, and Madam President.
Wallace is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.


Media Council Members can view the livestream this of this event at 1:00 pm ET on Wednesday, May 22.

This event is exclusive to Media Council Members and other invited guests. To find out more about Media Council Membership, contact