A&E Head Robert DeBitetto to Change Gears, Will Run New Unit A+E Studios

Networks to be run by evps under honcho Nancy Dubuc

The org chart at A+E Networks will finally start making sense: Robert DeBitetto, president and gm of A&E for the past decade, will leave his position as head of the network to run an internal production company called A+E studios that will create company-owned content for the company's cable networks and digital platforms. At the same time, the top programming execs at History, Lifetime and A&E are adding general manager to their positions; all will report to Nancy Dubuc, the recently elevated president and CEO of A+E Networks.

Dirk Hoogstra will handle the day-to-day at the two-network unit of History and H2, where he's in development and programming since 2010; David McKillop will take over general manager duties from DiBitetto at A&E; Robert Sharenow will helm the good ship Lifetime; and marketing and development teams at the networks will report to Hoogstra, McKillop and Sharenow.

The only new hire in the bunch is Jana Bennett, who left BBC Worldwide (where she was president of BBC worldwide networks and global BBC iPlayer) last year during a major reorg. At A+E, Bennett will oversee Bio (previously in a unit with A&E) and LMN as president—she's also the only network head to retain the title of president.

DeBitetto, too, will be president, not of a network but of brand strategy, business development, A+E Studios. He'll also oversee synergy between networks.

After a year and change of movement, the stage seems to be set for whatever A+E manages to do next: Dubuc at the top, with Hoogstra, McKillop and Sharenow handling the major networks and a seasoned exec from the outside (Bennett) overseeing A+E's two smaller properties. Scuttlebutt around town is that upcoming areas of focus for the company will probably be LMN and Bio, so expect to see movement in Bennett's unit soon.