AMC Networks Aligns Cable Network WE TV With Streaming Service UMC, Ups Brett Dismuke To GM Of Both


AMC Networks has realigned its UMC streaming service and WE tv network under a shared leadership team headed by Brett Dismuke.

The executive, who became head of content for UMC in 2019, will now be general manager of the service as well as WE tv, reporting to Miguel Penella, president of SVOD for AMC Networks. Penella, in turn, reports to company COO Ed Carroll.

Sylvia George, the former GM of UMC, is moving to a new role within the marketing organization of AMC Networks, heading performance marketing for the company’s portfolio of niche streaming services. George had led UMC as GM since 2018, after previously serving as chief marketing officer. She joined Acorn Media as a marketing manager in 1999 and served in a variety of marketing and sales roles.

AMC Networks acquired RLJ Entertainment, parent of UMC and Acorn in 2018. As it looks to restructure its operations to emphasize streaming, AMC Networks disclosed last month it is shedding about 10% of its U.S. staff.

Key members of Dismuke’s leadership team will include Lauren Gellert, EVP of of development and original programming for WE tv. Gellert joined WE tv in 2012 and has developed and managed series and franchises like Marriage Boot Camp, Growing Up Hip Hop and Love After Lockup.

Nikki Love, VP of development and original production for UMC, will continue to oversee UMC’s scripted originals. Since joining UMC in January 2019, she has executive produced shows such as A House Divided, Double Cross and Behind Her Faith.

Theresa Patiri, SVP of production and business affairs for WE tv will continue in that role and will oversee all physical production, business affairs and global program sales.

Before Dismuke rejoined the company in 2019, as owner of So Chi Entertainment – which he founded in 2016 – he consulted with UMC on production, distribution and release strategy. He was previously COO of independent production company The Swirl Group. Earlier in his career, he was SVP of acquisitions, urban content for Image Entertainment, which was purchased by Robert L. Johnson in 2012 and became a part of RLJ Entertainment.

In a press release, Carroll said the company is aiming to make UMC the “leading streaming service in the world serving Black viewers with compelling and high-quality content.” WE tv has also made strong inroads with Black viewers, especially women. “These are two successful businesses we believe will be even better positioned to serve viewers and take advantage of changing consumer behavior when working more closely together, under common leadership,” he said.

“The strong growth we have achieved at UMC is based on our ability to dial into the lives our subscribers are living and deliver stories and content that they care about,” Dismuke said. “The same is true of WE tv, a network that has been successful by bringing fans real and relatable shows, stories and characters.”

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