ABC's Senior VP Communications Exiting

Jori Arancio has been with Disney for 21 years; Freeform's Naomi Bulochnikov is expected to be promoted to fill the void.
Courtesy of Disney
Jori Arancio

ABC's senior vp communications Jori Arancio is leaving the broadcast network following a three-year run.

Originally hired in October 2016 after being promoted from Freeform, Arancio has been a member of the Disney fold for an impressive 21 years. ABC says a replacement for Arancio will be named shortly. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Freeform vp communications Naomi Bulochnikov is expected to be promoted to reunite with ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke and fill the void created by Arancio's departure.

“Jori is a sharp and formidable executive who has overseen some fantastic PR campaigns during her extensive career at the company,” Burke said Wednesday in a statement. “She’s also done a great job building a talented team; and while we’re sorry she has made the decision to move on, we remain grateful for her contributions to ABC.”

Arancio was brought in back in 2016 to work closely with ABC Studios president Patrick Moran and ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey. Both top execs have since exited, as has Disney/ABC TV Group Global Communications executive vp Kevin Brockman, to whom she reported. (Arancio replaced Hope Hartman at ABC.)

As Burke noted, Arancio helped ease the transition between Dungey and Burke and worked closely with her former Freeform colleague after she took over the broadcast network.

"It has been my joy and privilege to call The Walt Disney Company home for over 20 years," Arancio said. "I have had the great fortune to work alongside the most inspiring, creative, dedicated and passionate communications teams, leaders and talent. I have also had the extraordinary opportunity to help launch groundbreaking series and important initiatives. Having worked with Karey at Freeform, it was important to me to work with her during her first year as president of ABC Entertainment. Her vision is taking shape and ABC had a successful fall launch. It’s now time for me to explore new opportunities. I will always be grateful for my colleagues and experiences at ABC and Disney and wish the teams great success.”

Arancio was charged with strategic corporate communication efforts, consumer press campaigns, awards outreach and talent relations for both the broadcast network and the studio. She shaped campaigns for the Bachelor franchise, Grey's Anatomy, A Million Little Things, The Conners and more. Before that, Arancio was vp communications at Freeform, where she helped rebrand the network from ABC Family. During her two-decade run at Disney, she also had communications roles at ABC Daytime and Disney Channel.

For her part, Bulochnikov is a close colleague of Burke's who helped shape Freeform's press strategy as it shifted from soapy fare like Pretty Little Liars to series including The Bold Type and Grown-ish. A formal announcement about Arancio's replacement is expected to come shortly. ABC declined comment on Bulochnikov.