Sky has initiated a restructure that will see the removal of standalone Channel Head roles from the Entertainment group. Going forward, the strategic direction of the channels will be set by Sky Entertainment Director of Programs Zai Bennett and the programming team. All commissioning and acquisitions will be handled by Bennett and the individual genre heads. The move is designed to streamline the decision-making process under a flatter and more efficient structure.
It also means that Adam MacDonald, Director of Sky One and Sky Living, is exiting the company. The shift does not affect Phil Edgar Jones who will remain as Director of Sky Arts and Head of Entertainment and Arts Commissioning.
MacDonald was named Director of Programming for Sky One in 2013 and added the role of Director of Sky Living in 2016. He has overseen the creation of Sky One’s drama slate including Stan Lee’s Lucky Man, Jamestown and Delicious as well as curating a comedy roster that includes A League Of Their Own and James Corden’s Late Late Shows from London; and acquiring such U.S. hits as The Good Doctor.
In an internal note to staff that was obtained by Deadline, Bennet praised MacDonald and thanked him for his “huge contribution and immense professionalism.” Sky One, he said, “is in rude health.”
MacDonald said, “I’ve enjoyed five glorious years at Sky and feel blessed to have worked alongside the very best in the business across commissioning, acquisitions, scheduling, marketing, press, production management and beyond. We’ve won BAFTAs, Emmys, Broadcast Awards, a Rose D’or and had a total blast along the way. But it now feels like the right time for me to move on, I’d like to thank Zai and Gary for their support over the years, the channels are in fine fettle and I wholeheartedly wish them well in the future.”
The move to streamline the greenlight process is reminiscent of similar pushes at other broadcasters to make for quicker turnaround. It also comes at a time when Sky is the subject of a tug-of-war between Comcast and Fox with the former putting forth a $31B offer for the pan-European pay-TV giant. The internal changes, however, are unrelated.