After a four-month search, Hearst and Disney have named a successor to A+E Networks president and CEO Nancy Dubuc, going with one of her top lieutenants.
Paul Buccieri, most recently president, A+E Studios and A+E Networks Portfolio Group, has been named president of A+E Networks Group, co-owned by Disney and Hearst. He will report to the A+E Networks Group’s board of directors.
The search for a new A+E Networks topper cast a wide net, focusing on both outside and inside candidates. Buccieri, who is well liked within the company, emerged early on as a leading internal candidate, with Head of International Sean Cohan and
FFO David (Digger) Granville-Smith CFO also considered I hear. The extensive list of top executives outside of A+E who were approached for the job reportedly included Conde Nast’s Dawn Ostroff who was already in talks to join Spotify, and AMC’s Charlie Collier who is under contract and not available.
Following Dubuc’s exit to join Vice, former A+E topper Abbe Raven, who retired from the company in 2015, returned as acting chair to oversee the company and help with the executive search. She will continue to assist with the transition through the end of the year.
Buccieri joined A+E Networks in 2014 as president, A&E and History, and was promoted to A+E Studios and A+E Networks Portfolio Group in 2016. In that role, he oversaw all aspects of A+E Studios and the A+E Networks brand portfolio.
“Paul’s successful track record running A+E Studios and overseeing programming at the portfolio of brands, combined with his experience in worldwide production, distribution, syndication and digital, will further propel A+E Networks’ momentum,” Steven R. Swartz, president and CEO of Hearst, and Ben Sherwood, co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney|ABC Television, said in a joint statement. “He’s a proven leader, strong collaborator and skilled programmer with an eye for identifying trends in the very competitive content marketplace. As we make this announcement, we also thank A+E Acting Chairman Abbe Raven for her leadership during the transition and her assistance in identifying Paul as the network’s next leader. Abbe will remain in her role at least through year-end.”
Buccieri has a diverse background, with extensive experience in worldwide production, distribution, syndication and digital. Before joining A+E Networks, he was Chairman of ITV Studios U.S. Group & ITV Studios Global Entertainment, where he oversaw the building of the independent studio and led ITV’s international television distribution and consumer products business. He also previously served as president of programming, production and development at Fox Twentieth Television.
Outside of his executive job, Buccieri is an Ironman Triathlon competitor and took part in the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, last year.