AMC Networks Entertainment Group has tapped industry veteran Dan McDermott, most recently head of the Lionsgate and BBC Studios scripted TV partnership, as president of original programming and co-president of AMC Studios. He fills the void left by the August departure of David Madden, who exited as President of Programming for the AMC Entertainment Networks Group and AMC Studios amid a restructuring when AMC Studios was integrated into the company’s Entertainment Networks Group run by Sarah Barnett, President of AMC Networks Entertainment Group and AMC Studios.
McDermott will serve as co-president of AMC Studios alongside Stefan Reinhardt, who oversees business operations and studio production. Both report to Barnett.
Also joining AMC Networks is David Beck, most recently EVP of strategy and operations at WarnerMedia. He has been appointed as EVP and head of programming strategy and business operations. Beck also reports to Barnett.
“These two outstanding leaders arrive as we reshape our company to put our passionate audiences and premium content at the heart of our operations. Nobody can thrive today in our fast-moving industry without a nimble structure and exceptional teams led by outstanding people, that’s what we’re building at AMC Networks,” Barnett said.
McDermott will be based in Los Angeles and will oversee content creation across the Entertainment Group’s network brands including AMC, BBC America, IFC and SundanceTV, as well as AMC Studios.
He will lead an executive team that includes Ben Davis, EVP of scripted programming for AMC Studios and, for the Entertainment Group, Kristin Jones, EVP of international programming and programming innovation, Susie Fitzgerald, EVP of scripted programming and Marco Bresaz, SVP of non-fiction and alternative programming.
After a decade working as a writer and partner in Di Bonaventura Pictures Television, McDermott returned to the TV executive ranks in May 2019 when he was tapped to head BBC Studios and Lionsgate’s television partnership. Under his leadership, the partnership had a very strong first development cycle with a number of sales, making Deadline’s Overachievers of 2020 Pilot Season list with two pilot orders, for Fox’s This Country and CBS’ Ghosts. The success made McDermott a hot commodity; he had been mentioned for multiple network executive jobs over the past couple of months.
Prior to his role with Lionsgate and BBC Studios, McDermott was a producer, writer and partner in Di Bonaventura Pictures Television. He previously worked at Fox and was DreamWorks’ first president of television, overseeing shows like Spin City and Freaks and Geeks.
Beck will lead the Entertainment Group’s linear and digital programming strategy, scheduling and acquisitions group, digital content and operations including AVOD, TVE, and AMC Premiere, as well as overseeing brand and functional areas across AMC, BBC America, IFC, and SundanceTV. He will manage Gregory Ainsworth, SVP of operations and strategy, Courtney Thomasma, executive director of BBC America, and Blake Callaway, executive director of IFC and SundanceTV.
Prior to his most recent role with WarnerMedia, Beck was chief strategy officer and chief ventures officer at TNT and TBS Networks. Before that, he was a co-founder and managing partner of BRaVe Ventures, a media and technology advisory and investment firm. Earlier in his career, he held senior positions at Univision Communications.