ABC Enlists Freeform Exec as Senior VP Communications

NAOMI BULOCHNIKOV - Publicity - H 2019
Bob D'Amico/Freeform

For the second time in three years, ABC has promoted a Freeform PR staffer to serve as its senior vp communications.

As expected, Freeform vp communications Naomi Bulochnikov-Paul has been elevated to serve as senior vp communications at broadcast network ABC. Bulochnikov-Paul — who worked closely with Karey Burke to reshape Freeform after its rebranding from ABC Family — replaces Jori Arancio. The latter departed ABC after a three-year run earlier this week, and opted to depart Disney after a nearly two-decade career with the Mouse House. 

With her new role, Bulochnikov-Paul will work closely with former Freeform head of originals-turned-ABC Entertainment president Burke and be charged with overseeing strategic corporate communication efforts, consumer press campaigns and awards outreach for the broadcast network. She will report to Shannon Ryan, Disney TV Studios' president of marketing.

"Joining ABC Entertainment and working alongside Shannon and Karey — two of the industry's most inspiring and creative leaders — is an unmatched opportunity," said Bulochnikov-Paul. "I look forward to collaborating with our communications team on distinctive campaigns that loudly and meaningfully spread the word about all the breakthrough content that ABC has to offer. As for my fierce Freeform family, I am so proud of what we’ve accomplished together and for what I know is still to come."

As part of the restructuring, longtime 20th TV exec vp corporate communications Chris Alexander is adding oversight of PR for ABC Studios to his purview. That means longtime ABC vp communications Janet Daily will move to the larger combined Disney Television Studios group and report to Alexander, whose title now becomes exec vp corporate communications and PR at Disney TV Studios.

Bulochnikov-Paul, for her part, had been responsible for all strategic communications efforts, program publicity and talent relationships for Disney's younger-skewing cable network Freeform. After joining the cabler, she launched the first-ever Freeform Summit, which has now become an annual event. She also launched brand-defining shows at Freeform including The Bold Type, Grown-ish, Good Trouble and more. During her career, Bulochnikov-Paul has worked in PR departments at Netflix, Sony Pictures TV and Crackle, where she helped land an Emmy nomination for the streaming service's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Before Crackle, she worked at Current TV and VH1. She started her communications career in 2005 at MTV.

“Working with Tom Ascheim, Naomi was critical in helping put Freeform on the map,” said Ryan. “She is an incredible leader, a gifted strategist and truly one of the brightest and most innovative communications executives in the business. Naomi already has a great shorthand with Karey Burke, which will allow her to hit the ground running, and we’re thrilled to have her lead our talented publicity and communications team at ABC into the future.”
“Chris has successfully led the communications and awards strategies for 20th Century Fox Television and Fox 21, so it made perfect sense to also give him oversight of ABC Studios publicity," Ryan added. "He and his talented team have done a great job positioning these labels as industry leaders and aligning all three under one best-in-class department will further establish Disney Television Studios as the premier home for creative talent in our business."
A replacement for Bulochnikov-Paul at Freeform has not yet been determined.