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Reorg, Layoffs Hit ABC

The network streamlines reports to Steve McPherson; layoffs are in the low double digits.

ABC finally finished off the restructuring it started in January, when the network and ABC Studios were merged and network chief Stephen McPherson assumed oversight of the studio from Mark Pedowitz.

On Thursday, the network announced the personnel shifts that resulted when it combined the two divisions’ business affairs, business development, casting, program planning and scheduling and distribution units under the singular ABC Entertainment Group banner. 

The studio and the network, however, will maintain separate creative teams.

 

A low double-digit tally of staffers were let go Thursday, an individual at the network told TheWrap, but ABC wouldn’t confirm a number officially. Layoffs include a number of vacant posts, as well as VP-level-and-under positions.

The restructuring announcement came three weeks after the network upfronts. McPherson (pictured) had pledged to hold off until pilot season was completed.

Reporting to ABC Entertainment Group President McPherson will be Suzanne Patmore-Gibbs, who will oversee scripted development for the network, and Barry Jossen who will handle congruent duties for the studio.

Jeff Bader will continue as ABC Entertainment’s senior executive in charge of primetime and late-night program planning and scheduling. He will also handle global programming distribution.

Senior VPs Vicki Dummer and John Saade will stay in their current positions as co-heads of alternative series, specials and late-night.

Kim Rozenfeld, senior VP of current drama, is expected to remain at the network, too.

“The new organization will strengthen our position as a top quality content engine and promote a healthier business model to sustain it,” McPherson said in a statement. “The structural changes we have put in place ensure a cohesive vision from a creative, production and business standpoint, and will make us a stronger, more efficient team more seamlessly focused on common goals."