AMC Networks is aligning UMC — its streaming service dedicated to Black TV and film — and its WE tv reality network under a common leadership team, run by UMC’s former chief content officer Brett Dismuke.
Dismuke (pictured) will now serve as general manager of UMC and WE tv, reporting to Miguel Penella, president of SVOD for AMC Networks. Penella reports to Ed Carroll, COO.
Key members of Dismuke’s leadership team will include Lauren Gellert, EVP of development and original programming for WE tv. Gellert joined WE tv in 2012 and has developed and managed original series for the network, including the current Marriage Boot Camp, Growing Up Hip Hop and Love After Lockup franchises.
She will continue to be responsible for WE tv original programming.
Theresa Patiri, senior vice president of production and business affairs for WE tv will continue in that role and will oversee all physical production, business affairs and global program sales. Sylvia George, the former general manager of UMC, is taking on a new role within the AMC Networks marketing organization.
“We have aspirations to make UMC the leading streaming service in the world serving Black viewers with compelling and high-quality content,” Carroll said in a statement. “These are two successful businesses we believe will be even better positioned to serve viewers and take advantage of changing consumer behavior when working more closely together, under common leadership.”
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.”
Dismuke said: “Now we have the ability to further explore the synergies that exist between these two dynamic platforms and build on the success UMC and WE tv have already achieved, with great content at the core of everything we do. We have fans watching, now it’s time to surprise them in a great way and raise the stakes. I’m so excited for this opportunity and for the great things we can do together.”
Dismuke stepped into the role of chief content officer of UMC in January of 2019. Prior to that, as owner of So Chi Entertainment — which he founded in 2016 — Dismuke consulted with UMC on production, distribution and release strategy.
He was previously COO of independent production company The Swirl Group. Earlier in his career, Dismuke was SVP of acquisitions, urban content for Image Entertainment, which was later purchased by Robert L. Johnson in 2012 and became a key component of AMC Networks’ RLJ Entertainment, paving the way for the launch of UMC.
UMC and WE tv have already been working together to move programming across platforms.
The most recent season of the WE tv series Marriage Boot Camp: Hip Hop Edition included cast confessional interviews that were exclusive to UMC and appeared moments after the conclusion of each new episode on WE tv.
UMC is the streaming home of WE tv’s Bridezillas and the UMC original Beyond the Pole also airs on WE tv.