AMC Networks said that it has put Brett Dismuke in charge of both UMC, its streaming service focused on Black viewers, and WE tv, a top-rated cable network with Black women.
Dismuke joined AMC as chief content officer of UMC in January. He fills a void left by WE tv's Marc Juris, who is leaving the company at the end of the year. Sylvia George, the former general manger of UMC, is taking a new role within AMC Networks and will be responsible for performance marketing across the company's targeted streaming services.
Last month, the company announced it was reducing its staff by about 10% and would incur severance costs of $20 million to $30 million in the fourth quarter.
AMC said Dismuke will report to Miguel Penella, president of SVOD for AMC Networks, who reports to AMC Networks COO Ed Carroll.
“We have aspirations to make UMC the leading streaming service in the world serving Black viewers with compelling and high-quality content, and WE tv is already the #1 cable network with Black women and adults on Thursday and the #1 cable entertainment network with women 18-49 and 25-54 on Fridays,” said Carroll. “These are two successful businesses we believe will be even better positioned to serve viewers and take advantage of changing consumer behavior when working more closely together, under common leadership.”
“Putting UMC and WE tv under a common leadership team, run by Brett, is a strategic move we believe will allow us to leverage strong programming franchises that exist on both platforms, build new ones and enhance the collaboration that is already happening between UMC and WE tv, with significant benefits to our company, our partners and, most of all, the viewers we serve and entertain,” added Penella.
Prior to joining AMC, Dismuke founded So Chi Entertainment. Earlier in his career he was senior VP of acquisitions, urban content for Image Entertainment, which was bought by Robert L. Johnson in 2012 and became part of RLJ, which launched UMC before the company was acquired by AMC. After leaving RLJ, he consulted with UMC.
“The strong growth we have achieved at UMC is based on our ability to dial into the lives our subscribers are living and deliver stories and content that they care about,” Dismuke said. “The same is true of WE tv, a network that has been successful by bringing fans real and relatable shows, stories and characters. Now we have the ability to further explore the synergies that exist between these two dynamic platforms and build on the success UMC and WE tv have already achieved, with great content at the core of everything we do. We have fans watching, now it’s time to surprise them in a great way and raise the stakes. I’m so excited for this opportunity and for the great things we can do together.”
Key executives working with Dismuke will be Lauren Gellert, executive VP of development and original programming at WE tv; NIkki Love, VP of development and original production for UMC and ; Theresa Patiri, senior VP of production and business affairs for WE tv.
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.