ABC reveals new executive structure

ABC Ent., ABC Studios retaining separate creative teams

Previously: ABC mulls post-merger exec plan

ABC on Thursday unveiled its new executive structure following its January decision to combine ABC Entertainment and ABC Studios in one group under president Stephen McPherson.

Effective immediately, most divisions of the network and the studio -- including business affairs and business development, casting, program planning, scheduling and distribution -- will be merged.

On the creative side, ABC Entertainment and ABC Studios will keep separate teams, but the network's and the studio's comedy and drama departments will now handle both development and current series.

As a result of the consolidation, a number of positions, in the lower double digits, are being eliminated. They include vacant posts as well as layoffs of executives of vp level or lower.

The highest-level exec affected, ABC's senior vp current programming Kim Rozenfeld, is segueing into a pod deal with ABC Studios.

Cheryl Stanley, who worked as vp drama current at the network under Rozenfeld, will move to ABC Studios drama department. Three other vps -- Heather Roth (ABC comedy), Brian Harvey (ABC Studios drama) and Carolyn Cassidy (ABC Studios comedy) -- are departing the company.

ABC exec vp drama Suzanne Patmore-Gibbs is being upped to exec vp network scripted creative for ABC Entertainment Group, serving as McPherson's creative No. 2 on the network side.

She will oversee ABC's primetime scripted operations, including drama and comedy development/current programming and made-for-TV movies and miniseries.

With Patmore-Gibbs elevated, ABC Studios head of drama Channing Dungey will move to the network to take over her role leading ABC's drama development team as senior vp drama, now also overseeing current drama programming.

Dungey will report to Patmore-Gibbs, along with Samie Falvey, who will continue as senior vp comedy, shepherding comedy development and current, and Quinn Taylor, senior vp movies, miniseries and acquisitions.

ABC Studios exec vp Barry Jossen is being named exec vp studio creative and production at ABC Entertainment Group. He will continue to oversee the creative and production operations at ABC Studios.

Patmore-Gibbs' top lieutenant at the network, Josh Barry, will take over ABC Studios drama department as senior vp drama series, with Kevin Plunkett continuing as senior vp comedy series. Both will handle development and current and report to Jossen.

Senior vps Vicki Dummer and John Saade continue in their roles as co-heads of alternative series, specials and late-night at the network; Keli Lee continues as exec vp casting; and exec vps Mike Benson and Marla Provencio remain co-heads of marketing, all reporting to McPherson but taking on ABC Entertainment Group titles.

Also staying put is the Alphabet's top scheduling exec, Jeff Bader, now exec vp planning, scheduling and distribution for ABC Entertainment Group, who will take on additional responsibilities of coordinating programming and distribution for ABC Entertainment Group programs across all domestic and international platforms.

On the business affairs side, the network's Jana Winograde will lead the division as exec vp business affairs and administration, ABC Entertainment Group. She is adding oversight of the studio, with ABC Studios head of business affairs, exec vp Howard Davine, reporting to her.

While the job cuts in ABC's restructuring are significant, they don't go nearly as deep as the executive realignment at NBC in December, in which most department heads and senior executives at the network and sister studio UMS were let go.

NBC's network-studio consolidation also affected creative affairs, with one department (comedy or drama) now handling development and current programming for both the network and the studio.

Last year, NBC became the first network to fold current programming into its comedy and drama development departments at the network and the studio.

ABC is now doing the same, while CBS, Fox and the CW continue to maintain separate current departments.
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