11:49am PT by Lesley Goldberg
ABC's Longtime Head of Marketing Marla Provencio to Exit
It's the end of an era at ABC.
Chief marketing officer Marla Provencio has decided to leave the Disney-owned network, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. ABC Entertainment Group president Channing Dungey made the announcement Friday in an internal memo that also included a note from Provencio (read both below).
A replacement has yet to be announced, but Provencio will remain with ABC as a consultant through June in order to help with the transition.
During her tenure, Provencio has spearheaded launches for key franchises including Modern Family, Once Upon a Time, How to Get Away With Murder, Black-ish and Castle, as well as some of the network's most iconic hits like Grey's Anatomy, Lost, Desperate Housewives, Scandal and Dancing With the Stars. She created a number of award-winning and innovative marketing campaigns as well as launched the industry's first multiplatform brand identity and viewer navigation system via the ABC Start Here Initiative.
She was honored by the TV Academy with the Emmy for outstanding creative achievement in interactive media for Lost's Dharma Initiative. She also created Hispanic-targeted campaigns for Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives and has been named one of the top Hispanic marketers of the year.
Provencio started her career in on-air promotion at ABC in 1979 as a production coordinator and has held various gigs at the network including exec director of daytime and children's promotion as well as vp drama and longform. She's been a key member of ABC's mentoring program and has been featured in THR's Women in Entertainment and Top 25 Latinos in Entertainment.
For ABC, Provencio's departure comes months after Geri Wang retired as president of ad sales; she was replaced earlier this month by Rita Ferro. The timing of Provencio's departure comes as ABC is heading into the home stretch of the 2016-17 broadcast season, with a new head of marketing expected to be brought in to oversee the network's fall campaign.
Read Dungey and Provencio's memos below.
I wanted to let you know about a big change that is happening in our ranks. After more than 35 years with ABC, Marla Provencio has decided to begin a new chapter in her life and will be leaving the company. I have included a personal statement from Marla herself at the bottom of this note. She knows this is a huge change and has agreed to stay involved as a consultant through June to help with our transition.
Marla’s DNA is in ABC and it is hard to think about the brand without her. Her contributions to our success and what we stand for are limitless. Just last night, TGIT was again #1 and it was Marla who led the team that created this campaign. And this is but one of Marla’s countless extraordinary accomplishments here. She leaves behind an amazing legacy of which she, and we, can be truly proud.
I know change can be difficult, but Marla has built the best marketing team in the business. I know we are in good hands even with her departure and we will continue to flourish. I will continue to keep you updated as we move through this transition, and please feel free to reach out to me directly with any questions and concerns.
Please join me in wishing Marla well as she takes this next big step into what I am confident will be an incredible future.
Below is a personal statement from Marla herself:
Well…what can I say?...My career here has been one incredible journey. For 35+ years this company has been my home. It has given me the opportunity to learn, to create, to innovate and to grow into the marketer that I am today. I have been fortunate enough to work with some of the most brilliant minds in the entertainment and marketing industry while forging relationships, most especially friendships, that will live on forever.
I also have been involved in some of the most extraordinary marketing campaigns which has led me to one of the greatest realizations of my life – that the creative, and more importantly, hands-on creative, has always been my greatest passion and I want it to be the focus in the next chapter of my professional life.
To that end, after speaking with Channing, I've decided to make the leap. Over the next few weeks, I'm going to be stepping back from the day-to-day, but I've agreed to stay involved through June to help Channing and the department through this transition.
I couldn't send a note like this without wishing a heartfelt THANK YOU to my team and colleagues here at the company as well as those I associated with outside in the creative community. You have given me a lifetime of memories filled with fun, amazing creative work and most importantly, laughter.
Remember...if not now, when?