Robert DeBitetto Departing A+E Networks After 14 Years

Robert DeBitetto - Publicity - H 2016
Jeff Katz

Robert DeBitetto - Publicity - H 2016

The TV exec is not retiring but has opted to move on after launching the in-house studio with breakouts 'Roots' and 'UnReal.'

Longtime A+E Networks exec Robert DeBitetto is moving on.

The 14-year veteran of the cable giant, who served as president and GM of its flagship channel at the height of its ratings success, most recently launched and ran the company's in-house studio. Serving as president, brand strategy, business development and A+E Studios since June 2013, DeBitetto recently decided he wouldn't be renewing his contract out of a desire to pursue other career opportunities.

A+E Networks CEO Nancy Dubuc informed the staff of his departure on Monday, praising DeBitetto for the projects he's shepherded in the studio's three-year history. He leaves his role having launched Lifetime critical breakout UnReal and History's Emmy-nominated miniseries revival of Roots.

DeBitetto arrived at A&E in 2003, first serving as programming senior vp. He continued to rise among the ranks, helping deliver ratings highs, launching such pivotal initiatives as A&E IndieFilms and overseeing A&E, Crime & Investigation Network and the late Bio. The studio currently has 40 series in development — History scripted efforts Six and Knightfall among them.

DeBitetto's replacement has not been named, but one is expected to be tapped shortly.

See Dubuc's full memo below.

Over the last 14 years, Bob DeBitetto has been a vital force in our company. As President of A&E, he lead the network to an impressive 10 year ratings growth streak and he had a hand in creating some of our biggest franchises. Nearly three years ago, when I took over as CEO I asked Bob to create and lead A+E Studios so we would participate in owning our scripted content. In a few short years, the Studio created our most critically-acclaimed series ever, UnReal, and the Emmy-nominated Roots. The studio now has over 40 series in active development including History’s upcoming series Six and Knightfall. It has become a major force in Hollywood and he has played a key role in its success.

Bob has been a friend, partner and mentor to me over the course of his entire career at A&E. He is widely respected in our industry and is often referred to as "the smartest guy in the room." So it is with great sadness that I am announcing his departure from A+E Networks. This summer, Bob told me he had decided to pursue the next chapter in his storied career and I want to be the first to wish him the very best.

Bob will be here until the end of the year and I expect to make an announcement shortly about the new leader of A+E Studios.

Please join me in wishing Bob continued success. I know we are all going to miss him greatly.