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Shonda Rhimes is promoting from within.
Her eponymous company, Shondaland, is upping its longtime development executive Alison Eakle to chief content officer and its strategy and business development officer Chris DiIorio to chief marketing officer. Both are newly created positions at the global media company, as Shondaland is now being billed, given the company’s footprint across TV, film, docs, podcasts and publishing. The news comes as Rhimes has committed to remaining hugely prolific, with a new deal at Netflix that will likely see her expand into gaming, virtual reality and live events.
Eakle has been with Rhimes and company since 2013, when her shows — at that time, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice and Scandal — were still staples on ABC. In Eakle’s new role, where she’ll report creatively to Rhimes and her producing partner Betsy Beers, she is expected to lead the development and production teams at what is now a Netflix-based shingle. She will also serve as a co-executive producer on select projects, including the hugely popular Bridgerton franchise and the upcoming Rhimes-penned limited series Inventing Anna, about real-life Soho grifter Anna Delvey (played by Julia Garner).
“Betsy and I are beyond excited to create this new position that takes full advantage of Alison’s talents and allows her to expand her responsibility with the company,” Rhimes said in a statement, adding: “Having a chief content officer allows Betsy and me to spend more time working as a focused creative team on each show.”
As for DiIorio, who began as Rhimes’ personal publicist over a decade ago, his new CMO title will give him oversight of all external marketing and communications for the company. He will continue to be responsible for all brand partnerships (think Dove or Peleton) and integrations for Shondaland content as well.
“Chris and I have a longstanding relationship that has continuously expanded over the past 15 years,” noted Rhimes. “He has been with me on this journey since the early days and it was a natural choice to have him in this new position to steer all marketing, communications and partnerships for Shondaland.”
Eakle and DiIorio, along with Sandie Bailey, Rhimes’ chief design and digital media officer, and Carolyn Mathis, her chief people and culture officer, will report to Shondaland’s recently appointed president, Megha Tolia, creating the new leadership team for the company. Rhimes remains founder and CEO.
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