UPDATE: I already reported this months ago, and then gave more details weeks ago. So today’s ABC announcement is ridiculously anticlimactic. But, of course, the shakeup would finally be announced while I was out of the office. Now, here’s more: I’m also told by sources that Carolyn Cassiy, AJ Marcantonio, Heather Roth, Brian Harvey, Liz Dickler and Jodie Platt were all let go. Safe are Patrick Maguire, Kelly Lugenbeihl, and Amy Hartwick. Dana Gotlieb is joining ABC Media Studios’ comedy department. Zack Olin is going to the ABC network comedy department. As expected the shakeup was brutal. As I expected, Steve McPherson distanced himself. And Barry Jossen was out of town. One source tells me people were summoned to Jossen’s office where a Human Resources exec observed while Jossen fired them over the phone.
Completing a process begun in January, ABC Entertainment Group President Stephen McPherson today announced the Group’s final organizational structure. Effective immediately, Business Affairs, Business Development, Casting, Program Planning, Scheduling and Distribution will be managed as integrated areas, while ABC Entertainment and ABC Studios retain separate creative teams, with each combining development and current programming roles.
In making the announcement, Mr. McPherson said: “The new organization will strengthen our position as a top quality content engine and promote a healthier business model to sustain it. The structural changes we have put in place ensure a cohesive vision from a creative, production and business standpoint, and will make us a stronger, more efficient team more seamlessly focused on common goals.”
With this announcement, Mr. McPherson outlined the following structure:
Jeff Bader, executive vice president, ABC Entertainment Group, Planning, Scheduling & Distribution, continues as ABC Entertainment’s senior executive in charge of primetime and late-night program planning and scheduling. Beyond these network-specific duties, Mr. Bader will be responsible for facilitating and coordinating global programming, distribution and windowing strategies for all ABC Entertainment Group programs across all platforms, both domestic and international. Directly reporting to Mr. Bader are Vice President, Broadcast Program Planning and Scheduling, Steve Kern; Vice President, Multiplatform Programming and Scheduling, Wendell Foster, and Executive Director, Program Planning and Scheduling, Catherine Korda.
Barry Jossen, executive vice president, ABC Entertainment Group, Studio Creative and Production, will provide strategic direction, leadership and oversight to creative and production at ABC Studios. Directly reporting to Mr. Jossen are Senior Vice President, Drama Series, Josh Barry, who moves over from Drama Development at the network; Senior Vice President, Comedy Series, Kevin Plunkett; Senior Vice President, Production, Gary French; Senior Vice President, Post-Production, Paula Warner, and Vice President, Music, Dawn Soler.
Suzanne Patmore-Gibbs, executive vice president, ABC Entertainment Group, Network Scripted Creative, will provide creative direction, oversight and management of the network’s entire primetime Scripted Creative group, which includes drama development/current programming, comedy development/current programming, and made-for-television movies and miniseries. Directly reporting to Ms. Patmore-Gibbs in her new role are Senior Vice President, Drama, Channing Dungey, who moves over from a comparable role at the studio; Senior Vice President, Comedy, Samie Falvey, and Senior Vice President, Movies, Miniseries and Acquisitions, Quinn Taylor.
Mia Rondinella, vice president, ABC Entertainment Group, Business Planning and Development, will identify growth opportunities and develop business strategies, supervise the activities of the business licensing and merchandising team and provide counsel and analysis on key strategic initiatives. Directly reporting to Ms. Rondinella are Rosalie Villapando, vice president, Business and Franchise Development, and John Hanna, executive director, Merchandising.
Jana Winograde, executive vice president, ABC Entertainment Group, Business Affairs and Administration, will oversee deals, agreements and general business related to the development and acquisition of all primetime and late-night programming, marketing and ABC.com. Additionally, Ms. Winograde will provide business oversight of the development and production of network, cable and syndicated programming and the licensing of such programming to distributors and exhibitors. She also oversees the business elements of the Music Department, which sets music policy and handles music licensing and administration. Directly reporting to Ms. Winograde are Howard Davine, executive vice president, ABC Entertainment Group, Studio Business Affairs; Jennifer Mayo, senior vice president, ABC Entertainment Group, Network Scripted Business Affairs; Kerry Kennedy, vice president, ABC Entertainment Group, Alternative Series Business Affairs; and, Peter DiCecco, senior vice president, Disney/ABC Television Group, Music-Business & Legal Affairs.
Senior Vice Presidents Vicki Dummer and John Saade continue in their current roles as co-heads of Alternative Series, Specials And Late-Night at the network; Keli Lee continues in her current role as executive vice president, Casting; and Executive Vice Presidents Mike Benson and Marla Provencio continue in their current roles as co-heads of Marketing, all reporting to Mr. McPherson, but taking on ABC Entertainment Group titles.
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