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Brett Dismuke to oversee WE tv, UMC

AMC Networks is bringing its WE tv reality television network and UMC streaming service under the leadership of the latter’s chief content officer, Brett Dismuke.

Brett Dismuke

Dismuke will serve as general manager of UMC and WE tv following the rejig, which will see the two brands work more closely together because of their common audience targets.

Dismuke will report to Miguel Penella, president of SVoD for AMC Networks, who reports to Ed Carroll, AMC Networks’ chief operating officer.

It comes after it was announced in October that WE tv president Marc Juris was leaving the AMC Networks-owned US cablenet where he has spent the past seven years.

Sylvia George, the former general manager of UMC, is taking on a new role within the AMC Networks marketing organisation, where she will be responsible for performance marketing across the company’s streaming services.

As well as UMC, AMC Network owns fellow streamers Acorn TV, Shudder and Sundance Now, which are now available together with UMC as part of the recently launched AMC+ premium streaming bundle.

Carroll said AMC Networks was aiming to make UMC the leading streaming service in the world serving black viewers, while WE tv is already a popular cable network among black women and adults.

UMC and WE tv have already been working collaboratively, with the most recent season of WE tv series Marriage Boot Camp: Hip Hop Edition including cast confessional interviews exclusive to UMC.

UMC, which costs US$4.99 per month or US$49.99 per year, is also the streaming home to WE tv series Bridezillas and the UMC original Beyond the Pole also airs on WE tv.

Dismuke became chief content officer of UMC, home to shows such as Double Cross, A House Divided and A Closer Look, in January 2019.

Before re-joining the company, he consulted with UMC on production, distribution and release strategy as the owner of So Chi Entertainment, which he founded in 2016. Dismuke was previously chief operating officer of independent production company The Swirl Group.

Earlier in his career, he was senior VP of acquisitions, urban content, for Image Entertainment, which was purchased by Robert L Johnson in 2012 and became a key component of RLJ Entertainment, paving the way for the launch of UMC.

Key members of Dismuke’s leadership team will include Lauren Gellert, executive VP of development and original programming for 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.

“These are two successful businesses we believe will be even better positioned to serve viewers and take advantage of changing consumer behaviour when working more closely together, under common leadership,” said Carroll.

Penella added: “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.”

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