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Dan McDermott continues to rise through the ranks at AMC.
The president original programming and co-president of AMC Studios has been promoted to president of entertainment and AMC Studios. The title, a first for AMC, reflects McDermott’s added responsibilities after the departures of both AMC Networks entertainment group president Sarah Barnett and COO Ed Carroll.
Barnett previously ran all four linear networks (AMC, BBC America, Sundance TV and IFC), while McDermott oversees original programming, production and AMC Studios content for the networks and the company’s streaming platform, AMC+. He also takes on management of AMC’s business affairs, acquisitions, scheduling and consumer PR functions including talent relations and awards. The latter duties were previously overseen by Carroll, who departed in September after a 34-year run.
Barnett, Carroll and AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan have all departed over the past year and a half as sale rumors continue to swirl around the group of basic cable networks that’s home to the Walking Dead franchise. Former Showtime chief Matt Blank took over for Sapan on an interim basis in August.
“As president of entertainment and AMC Studios, Dan is expanding his role and building from the excellent work he has already done overseeing the development and production of our original programming,” said Blank, to whom McDermott reports. “Dan is a rare talent who has already made a significant contribution here after decades of meaningful work and notable success in this industry. His new responsibilities allow him to have an even greater impact on our continued success engaging fans and driving popular culture through our linear networks and array of fast-growing targeted streaming services, including AMC+.”
McDermott will take over management of senior execs and their teams including head of business affairs Rafael Gomez; exec vp content and inventory strategy David Epstein; and exec vp PR Marnie Black.
McDermott joined AMC in early 2020 after having previously overseen the Lionsgate and BBC Studios scripted TV pact. Before that, he spent time at Fox and was the first president of television at DreamWorks. He’s worked on series including Spin City and Freaks and Geeks, and in another life, was a producer, writer and partner in Di Bonaventura Pictures TV.
“I am thankful for this expanded role and could not be more energized by the opportunity we have to build on the success, distinction and fan relationships that have defined this company on linear television for many years, and to create in AMC+ an elite streaming destination for premium marquee content made for adults,” McDermott said. “2022 will be the biggest year for original programming in our history, and the ability to reach fans on expanding array of platforms, including a one-of-its-kind service like AMC+, is very exciting.”
McDermott’s rise comes as basic cable networks have been slowly pulling back on pricey scripted content as viewing habits continue to shift to streaming. He’s helped create a strategy for AMC content to bow a week early on AMC+ as he looks to prioritize the cabler’s niche streaming service that lives alongside the company’s Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now and ALLBLK. On the other hand, he’s also pushing AMC Studios into the arms supplier race, selling content to outside buyers that helps create another revenue stream as linear ratings on cable continue to decline.
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