The Biggest TV Executive Shakeups of 2022

Bob Chapek, Charlie Collier and Kelly Kahl were among more than a dozen big moves

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After a relatively tame 2021 for high-profile departures, 2022 came roaring back with rounds of executive musical chairs. From a CEO swap at Disney to streaming explosions, there was no shortage of top-level moves.

Amidst a sea of mergers, layoffs and acquisitions, here were the year’s biggest departures and arrivals:

AMC’s CEO Shuffle

In November, AMC Networks announced that CEO Christina Spade was stepping down from her role. AMC Networks chairman James Dolan also indicated cutbacks and a “large-scale layoff” were on the way at the time. Spade, who previously served as the company’s CFO and COO, took on the CEO role on Sept. 9, succeeding Matt Blank, who had been interim CEO since September 2021. Spade exited less than four months after taking the job.

Bob vs. Bob

Perhaps the most stunning executive shakeup in 2022 was Bob Iger’s return to Disney as CEO. After less than a year of retirement, he ousted his hand-picked successor, Bob Chapek. Within 24 hours of the move, Chapek’s right-hand man, Kareem Daniel, chairman of media and distribution, had also exited Disney. The company’s direct-to-consumer department lost $1.5 billion last quarter—and $4 billion in 2022.

Dana Walden replaces Peter Rice at Disney

In June, Peter Rice—Disney’s top TV content executive at the time—was bounced from the company. Then-CEO Bob Chapek replaced Rice with Dana Walden, Walt Disney Television chairman. Rice’s ousting was a surprise; however, the exec had been rumored to be in contention for a top entertainment role at Warner Bros. Discovery or as a replacement for Chapek.

Warner Bros. Discovery’s revolving door

Following WarnerMedia and Discovery’s $43 billion merger in April, the combined company has had a revolving door for incoming and outgoing execs for its TV business. Several execs left shortly after the merger, including Brad Wilson, HBO Max U.S. GM; Sarah Lyons, evp, DTC global product management; and Johannes Larcher, GM, international. But the exits haven’t stopped. Recently, news broke that Jane Latman, HGTV and Food Network home and food content president; Nancy Daniels, who was in charge of Turner channels and Discovery channels; Matthew Butler, group svp of Travel Channel; and Scott Lewers, who oversees franchise series expansions and tentpole programming at the Discovery and Turner channels, were also leaving.

Charlie Collier leaves Fox for Roku

Roku showed that it wants to be a big player in the streaming landscape with the hire of Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier. He joined as president of Roku Media in late October, and his former employer elevated Rob Wade to the vacated role. Collier had been at the helm of Fox’s entertainment division since 2018.

Roku platform chief and CFO Exit

The connected TV company kicked off the year with a bang, announcing long-time svp and general manager of platform business Scott Rosenberg was set to depart after nearly 10 years. In a further executive shuffle, CFO Steve Louden will head out in 2023 after helping recruit his successor.

Kelly Kahl exits CBS Entertainment

Kelly Kahl announced in November that he was exiting as president of CBS Entertainment after five and a half years in the role. Kahl, who had been with CBS for 26 years, spent much of his time at the network overseeing scheduling, helping vault series like Survivor, CSI and The Big Bang Theory to success. Amy Reisenbach, the company’s former evp, current programs, replaced the outgoing CBS Entertainment president.

Execs out at The CW amid acquisition

In October, Nexstar announced it had completed its purchase of 75% ownership stake in The CW network, and it was moving forward without CEO and chairman Mark Pedowitz. At the time, Pedowitz was the longest-tenured broadcast chief in the TV industry, serving at The CW for 11 years and being promoted to chairman and CEO in 2020. Dennis Miller was tapped to replace him. Several other CW execs would end up following Pedowitz out the door, including longtime ad sales chief Rob Tuck.

Netflix snags Snap execs

In case you missed it, Netflix added ads after years of insistence that the streamer would remain firmly ad-free. In August, the company announced it snapped up two top Snap executives to lead its newly-formed ad sales department. Former chief business officer Jeremi Gorman arrived as president of worldwide advertising, joined by Peter Naylor, the streamer’s new vp of advertising sales.

Speaking of Netflix…

Bozoma Saint John, the streamer’s marketing chief, departed the company in March after arriving in 2020. Netflix elevated Marian Lee to the role following Saint John’s exit. Saint John had replaced Jackie Lee-Joe, who only joined the streaming service a year prior.

And since we mentioned CMOs…

In another streamer marketer executive departure, Ukonwa Ojo, CMO of Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Studios, left the company just months before the debut of two of Prime Video’s biggest programs ever: NFL’s Thursday Night Football and the Lord of the Rings prequel Rings of Power. Ojo joined Amazon towards the end of 2020.

Jo Ann Ross steps back, John Halley steps up at Paramount

In September, longtime Paramount ad sales chief Jo Ann Ross announced she was stepping back for an advisory role as chairman of Paramount Advertising. John Halley, former evp and chief operating officer of advertising, succeeded Ross as president, leading national sales across the company’s portfolio of broadcast, cable, digital and streaming. Among Halley’s first big moves, the new ad sales chief pulled Paramount from its usual spot in Carnegie Hall for upfront week. Instead, the company will have smaller, impactful sessions with partners and clients.

Paramount’s David Nevins departs

David Nevins, who served as chairman and CEO, Paramount premium group and CCO, Paramount+ scripted series, announced in October that he was exiting the company at the end of the year. He was responsible for the development and deployment of scripted originals for Paramount+ and overseeing BET and Paramount Television Studios, as well as Showtime Networks and its channels. The executive told The Wall Street Journal that the company attempted to keep him on, but it was his decision to leave. The news of the exit came amid reports that Paramount would shut down the standalone Showtime service and fold its content into Paramount+.

Alisa Bowen is elevated to Disney+ president

Alisa Bowen was elevated to president of Disney+ in September. In the role, Bowen will look to position the streaming service as a global destination for premium content. Before the role change, Bowen served as evp of global business operations for the company’s OTT platforms, including Disney+, since its launch in 2019. The Disney+ exec will continue reporting to Michael Paull, president, DTC, Disney media entertainment and distribution.

DC Studios lands its veterans

Amidst the turmoil In the Warner Bros. Discovery streaming department, the company made moves at DC. In October, industry veterans James Gunn and Peter Safran joined as co-chairmen and CEOs of DC Studios, which brought film, TV and animation together under a single banner. Their hires replaced the DC Films division after head Walter Hamada quietly exited.

Additional reporting by Bill Bradley.