Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers’ Shondaland continues to bolster its ranks as the company, responsible for five ABC Studios drama series for ABC, is transforming into a fully functioning pod with its own infrastructure.
Following the three executive hires in August, Shondaland has promoted Alison Eakle to Head of Comedy and Drama and Ghazal Moshfegh to Director of Development. Additionally, the company has hired veteran PMK*BNC PR executive Chris DiIorio, who had repped Rhimes for almost nine years, as VP of Strategy and Development.
The new appointments brings Shondaland’s staff of executives from 1, Eakle, to 6 in just three months.
“These two women have been instrumental in building Shondaland’s growing slate of programming,” Rhimes said of Eakle and Moshfegh, who is now getting executive stripes.
Added Beers, “They’re an asset to any company and we’re more than lucky to have them here. Plus I couldn’t pick more delightful people with whom to spend so much time!“
As Head of Comedy and Drama, Eakle is shepherding all Shondaland television projects, including overseeing development and managing the development team. She will continue to oversee staffing for all current shows, including the hiring of all directors and writers, and serve as a liaison between writers, directors, talent, and studio and network executives.
Eakle, who was most recently VP of Comedy and Drama, joined Shondaland in 2013. She has since developed the ABC dramas How to Get Away with Murder, The Catch, and the upcoming Still Star-Crossed (working title). Additionally, Eakle oversaw the company’s first produced comedy pilot, ABC’s Toast. Prior to Shondaland, Eakle worked as a coordinating manager at Ellen DeGeneres’ production company, A Very Good Production.
As Director of Development, Ghazal Moshfegh will work on development, including assessing possible project submissions, and well as oversee research and Shondaland’s continuing initiative to diversify the company’s director line-up for current shows.
In the newly created role as VP of Strategy and Development, DiIorio will work alongside the Shondaland team on business initiatives to create growth opportunities, on expanding the company’s creative storytelling offering beyond series television and increasing brand partnerships.
“Chris and I have worked together for many years,” said Rhimes. “I’m excited to have him join my enthusiasm for new ventures and new prospects.”
Rhimes is one of the showrunners who have fully embraced social media, harnessing its power to get the fans of her shows engaged in ways few others have been able to.
DiIorio joins the company from PMK*BNC where he had been for over 10 years overseeing the company’s television department.
In addition to Eakle, Moshfegh and DiIorio, Shondaland in August brought in Sara Fischer as Head of Production, Kristen Andersen as VP Marketing and Communications and Sandie Bailey as Director of Branding and Engagement.
ABC Studios-based Shondaland is forging its own way as a fully-staffed independent company within a major studio. That is different than the model employed by fellow prolific drama pods, Berlanti Prods and Dick Wolf Prods., which rely on the infrastructure of the studios they are based at.