9:15am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Chris McCumber Joins Blumhouse TV as President
Chris McCumber has lined up his next act.
The former USA Network and Syfy topper has been tapped to serve as president of Blumhouse Television, overseeing all aspects of the division and reporting to founder and CEO Jason Blum.
Jeremy Gold, who most recently served as co-president alongside Marci Wiseman at Blumhouse TV, has been named president of production at the company. Gold will now report directly to McCumber.
The news arrives a month after Wiseman stepped down from her perch as co-president at Blumhouse following a string of what she called "challenging personal events." That left Gold as the lone president of Blumhouse TV. Gold, the former Endemol Shine Studios exec vp, and Wiseman were appointed co-presidents of Blumhouse TV in June 2016 as the division expanded to include titles including Showtime's The Good Lord Bird and The Loudest Voice, HBO's Sharp Objects, Facebook's Sacred Lies and more.
"As the proliferation of streaming services and buyers is at an all-time high, we see a tremendous opportunity in bringing Chris McCumber on-board to head the company and continue to help us scale our television business," Blum said. "Jeremy Gold [and former co-president Marci Wiseman] helped take our television business to a whole new level three years ago, when they joined our burgeoning company, and I’m thrilled Jeremy is staying on to help to continue to build the company and oversee our growing slate for the television marketplace, where we have so much going on now, and anticipate having even more."
McCumber, meanwhile, announced in September that he was stepping down as USA Network and Syfy president following a transition period. During his nearly 20-year tenure with parent company NBCUniversal, the executive oversaw hits including Mr. Robot and long-running "Blue Skies" originals like Suits and White Collar. His departure came amid a massive executive restructuring that saw oversight of USA Network and Syfy folded into Susan Rovner's larger entertainment programming purview.
Sources say NBCU execs had sought to find a place for McCumber within its new structure but he ultimately was ready to start a new chapter elsewhere. In his new role, McCumber will still have ties to NBCU as Blum has a first-look film deal with Universal Pictures. McCumber will now work closely with film studio chairman Donna Langley and CEO Jeff Shell.
“I have a ton of respect for what Jason and Charles Layton have built in Blumhouse, and with the exponential growth in audiences and the insatiable appetite for programming, there hasn’t been a more interesting time to explore new creative avenues,” McCumber said. “The company’s powerful brand and legacy, made joining a compelling choice for me and I’m looking forward to working with the leadership to continue growing the brand and the television portfolio."
McCumber brings with him strong business acumen, deep relationships with talent and a proven track record that includes leading USA Network to a historic 14-year streak in which it was the No. 1 basic cable network. He has helped develop series including Psych, The Sinner, Chrisley Knows Best and has made key licensing deals for franchises including Harry Potter, Modern Family and WWE Raw/SmackDown. McCumber is also a seasoned marketer who oversaw brand campaigns including USA's well-known "characters welcome" and Syfy's rebranding.
McCumber is one of a number of senior TV executives who have changed jobs as the pandemic has forced media conglomerates to better position themselves for the streaming era and cut costs.