IFC's Jen Caserta Moves to AMC Corporate Role Amid Leadership Change

IFC_Split - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of IFC

Exec vp brand marketing Blake Callaway will take over as acting GM at the comedy-focused cable network.

There's a leadership change in the works at IFC.

IFC president and GM Jennifer Caserta has been named chief transformation officer at parent company AMC Networks. As part of the move, IFC executive vp brand marketing Blake Callaway has been tapped to serve as exec vp and acting GM of the niche comedy-themed cable network. In his new post, Callaway will oversee marketing, PR, scheduling and acquisitions for IFC.

Caserta, meanwhile, will be charged with driving and facilitating organizational structures and strategies that will better position AMC Networks to continue its storytelling, story formats, new products, distribution and advertising across its cable portfolio. (She was promoted to president of IFC in 2012.)

"We have been focused on diversifying our business in ways that enable us to seize new opportunities and achieve long-term growth, and are already seeing this effort translating into business results. This new role will help ensure we are positioned to take advantage of opportunities as our business continues to evolve,” AMC Networks president and CEO Josh Sapan said Monday in a release announcing the move. “Jen’s deep understanding of the business, her superb leadership and management skills, and track record of successfully transforming brands and creating new business models make her uniquely qualified to take on this important new role.”

During her time at IFC, Caserta transformed the cable network from a niche film channel to an ad-supported network with a roster of originals including Hank Azaria's Brockmire and Bill Hader, Fred Armisen and Seth Meyers' Documentary Now and the recently wrapped Portlandia. She also has helped drive parent company AMC Networks' expansion into new comedy formats and content areas, helping to forge a strategic partnership with Funny or Die and more.

"I am excited to take on this new role that is critical to how the company will evolve in a changing environment,” said Caserta. “My passion and experience with creative innovation and transformation, company culture, and the ability to grow and find new ways of engaging audiences has prepared me for this next step at AMC Networks. I am incredibly proud to have led the team at IFC, transforming the brand into a smart, relevant, highly acclaimed home for slightly off comedy, and I know that there is nobody better than Blake Callaway to take on this mantle.”

As part of the restructuring, acting GM Callaway and IFC exec vp originals Pete Aronson will now report to AMC Networks COO Ed Carroll.

“Jen has done a spectacular job at IFC with programming that consistently breaks through and resonates broadly in pop culture,” said Carroll. “Blake and Pete are proven leaders who have helped guide the business for many years and I look forward to working with them more closely.”

For his part, Callaway joined IFC in 2011 as senior vp marketing and launched campaigns for Brockmire, Portlandia and Documentary Now and was instrumental in IFC's "Always On, Slightly Off" branding. Before coming to IFC, he served as senior vp brand and strategic marketing at NBCUniversal-owned Syfy.

Aronson, meanwhile, oversees IFC's original comedy programming.

The move comes as IFC has faced challenges in cutting through a crowded landscape that is expected to top 500 scripted originals this year and as deep-pocketed rivals including Netflix, HBO and Comedy Central snap up stand-up specials and other buzzy comedies.