11:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Dan McDermott, David Beck Join AMC's Restructured Senior Leadership Team
Sarah Barnett continues to make her mark on AMC.
Seven months after the basic cabler merged its studio and networks group, Dan McDermott and David Beck have been recruited to join Barnett's restructured senior leadership team.
McDermott, who in May was hired to run Lionsgate and BBC's scripted TV partnership, has been recruited to serve as president of original programming and co-president of AMC Studios. Beck, who was exec vp strategy and operations at WarnerMedia, will serve as exec vp and head of programming strategy and business operations. Both will report to AMC Networks Entertainment Group and AMC Studios president Barnett.
"These two outstanding leaders arrive as we reshape our company to put our passionate audiences and premium content at the heart of our operations. Nobody can thrive today in our fast-moving industry without a nimble structure and exceptional teams led by outstanding people — that's what we're building at AMC Networks," Barnett said.
The hirings arrive mere months after AMC centralized both its studio and networks group under rising star and former BBC America chief Barnett. Consolidation has become commonplace across the television landscape as media companies realign their executive rosters to face a rapidly evolving business and better position themselves for the streaming future and a world in which content ownership is considered vital.
McDermott will fill the void created by David Madden, who exited in August following a two-year run as AMC's president of programming. Unlike Madden, he will have a bigger oversight umbrella and, while based in L.A., be charged with content creation across all of AMC's brands, including AMC, BBC America, IFC and SundanceTV. He will also team with AMC Studios co-president Stefan Reinhardt, who oversees business operations and studio production, for the studio arm as the company — like others — looks to own more of its schedule. McDermott will oversee execs who include exec vp scripted Ben Davis, entertainment group exec vp international Kristin Jones, exec vp scripted Susie Fitzgerald and senior vp nonfiction Marco Bresaz.
"Dan puts creative excellence at the center of everything and does so with deftness and delight. His proven chops at finding breakout content and his dexterity at driving success in a wide variety of positions make him the ideal leader for us during a period of massive industry change," said Barnett. "Dan will bring strong leadership to our Los Angeles office, working with a tremendous group of talented creative executives."
Beck, meanwhile, will be Barnett's second in command and, in the newly reconfigured role, lead the entertainment group's linear and digital programming strategy, scheduling and acquisitions group, digital content and operations, including AVOD and AMC Premiere. He will also oversee brand and functional areas across AMC, BBC America, IFC and SundanceTV. Key reports include senior vp operations and strategy Gregory Ainsworth, executive director of BBC America Courtney Thomasma and executive director of IFC and SundanceTV Blake Callaway.
"We are thrilled to snag David," Barnett said. "He is an impressive and highly effective leader who brings a terrific track record of driving growth and change at a number of media companies. David is leading some hugely talented teams of passionate people fully engaged in navigating us through this chapter. I know they join me in enthusiastically welcoming David to the company as we continue to transform the way we work."
Before joining AMC, McDermott spent a few months with Lionsgate and BBC Studios and worked as a writer, producer and partner at Di Bonaventura Pictures Television. He also had roles at Fox and was DreamWorks' first president of television, overseeing shows such as Spin City and Freaks and Geeks.
For his part, Beck previously was chief strategy officer and chief ventures officer at TNT and TBS Networks. Before that, he was a co-founder and managing partner of BRaVe Ventures, a media and technology advisory and investment firm focused on helping both industry leaders and insurgents accelerate growth and innovation. He has held senior positions at Univision and was a member of Bain & Company's media, technology and private equity practices.