A&E executive VP and GM Brooke Bailey Johnson has resigned, effective the end of March. This news comes just six months after the departure of her predecessor, Michael Cascio.
The personnel changes may seem curious, coming at a time of high ratings for the cablecaster. However, Johnson says she had been thinking about leaving for the last couple of years, more seriously over the past six months. The stated reason for her departure is a desire to spend more time with her two children.
Noting that A&E has seen its highest ratings ever over the past year, Johnson says she’s pleased to go out on a positive note. ‘I think the things that we have been doing are the right things to do and we’ve been pretty true to our mission . . . I have no reason to think that [A&E] will not continue to do well, in fact I believe it will.’
When asked whether any other factors played into her decision to leave, such as personality conflicts or differences of philosophy, Johnson said, ‘There are none. Anyone who knows A&E and knows me knows none of that exists. We’re a very tight organization. We’ve had the same management team for 11 years now. They are friends of mine, and I’m happy that they have made my decision as easy and as positive as it has been.’
Dan Davids has replaced Johnson, moving over from his position as executive VP and GM of The History Channel, which is part of the AETN family. Johnson says she’ll be available to help Davids, and will maintain a relationship with A&E as a consultant for an unspecified period of time.
Abbe Raven, formerly senior vice president of programming for History, has also stepped up the ladder to fill the vacancy left by Davids.