Disney TV Layoffs: Steven Melnick, Sonia Borris, Sharon Merle-Lieberman, Sarah Lindman, Julie Jarmon, Dana Sharpless, Stacey Adams & Dawn Solér Among Execs Leaving Amid Consolidation – Update

UPDATED with more names and details: Day 1 of Disney’s second wave of layoffs is impacting ABC and Freeform’s senior programming ranks, Disney Television Studios marketing, which is being dissolved, and its music operations, which are being consolidated.

Respected development executive Julie Jarmon, in her second stint at Freeform as SVP development, is departing, with the network’s development and current consolidated under Jamila Hunter, EVP of original programming and development. (Also leaving in the layoffs is Freeform’s Alix Lee, director of development and programming.)

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Additionally, media veteran Sarah Tomassi Lindman, Freeform’s SVP Content Planning & Strategy, is leaving as scheduling for the Disney cable networks is being combined.

Stacey Adams, ABC’s SVP, Current Programming, who has been leading the network’s drama current team, is departing. Head of drama Brianna Bennett, who has been spearheading development, will now also take over current. (ABC head of comedy Erin Wehrenberg already has been handling both development and current).

Over the past couple of decades, networks have gone multiple times back-and-forth between having standalone current programming units and combining them with development.

In one of the biggest cuts so far, the Disney TV Studios marketing operation is being dissolved, with the outlets the individual studios produce for, including ABC and Hulu, handling marketing for the shows by themselves from now on.

The top executives affected by the move are 23-year 20th Television veteran Steven Melnick, SVP, Marketing; Sharon Merle-Lieberman, SVP, Marketing & Promotions 20th Television; and Sonia Borris, SVP Marketing ABC Signature and 20th TV Animation. All three are departing, along with some members of their teams.

20th Television and ABC Signature’s music departments are being consolidated under 20th TV’s EVP and head of music Jeremy Summers. His counterpart, Dawn Solér, SVP music for ABC Signature and a 16.5-year veteran of the studio, is leaving as part of the layoffs.

“Bye bye ABC….. more later,” she wrote on Facebook.

In the first round of layoffs, Network and Platform production for scripted television across Disney Entertainment was consolidated under ABC Signature’s Carol Turner, and the studio’s IP acquisition department was dissolved.

Also leaving today are 20th Television’s SVP and co-head Current Programming Dana Sharpless (with fellow SVP/co-head Steve Sicherman expected to run the department solo), VP Production Nicole Ettinger and executive director comedy development Stephanie Rosenthal, as well as ABC Signature’s VP drama development Brenda Vogel, VP comedy Jenny Fritz, and managers of drama development Gabrielle Gold and Max Henke, along with several coordinators.

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