On the heels of the recent merging of E! and Esquire’s marketing operations, which resulted in E! layoffs, including the departure of SVPs Leigh Anne Gardner and Tim Rosta, the cable network is making cuts in original programming. According to sources, virtually everyone in the specials department has been laid off. That includes Betsy Rott, SVP Original Programming for E!’s production arm Wilshire Studios.
“As we evolve E!’s programming strategy, our production needs have shifted and several production positions have been impacted as a result, including Betsy Rott,” the network said in a statement. “We thank Betsy for her many contributions and wish her all the best in the future.”
In her role, Rott oversaw all current, non-scripted series and specials including Giuliana & Bill, E! True Hollywood Story, Beyond Candid and After Shock.
E! has been in a restructuring/cost-cutting mode since the departure late last fall of president Suzanne Kolb when Esquire president Adam Stotsky expanded his role to also oversee E! Entertainment as General Manager. Subsequently, E! head of marketing Jen Neal also was given a dual role, overseeing marketing of both E! and Esquire.
The network also has been grappling with programming issues, including the troubled relaunch of Fashion Police following Joan Rivers’ death. The show has now been put on hold following the exits of two of the co-hosts, Kathy Griffin and Kelly Osbourne over a racially insensitive remark by co-host Giuliana Rancic.