CBC restructures scripted primetime division (again)

Call it déjà vu – the CBC said Monday that it is restructuring its scripted entertainment division, following a previous shakeup last July.

Last year, the pubcaster merged its drama and comedy departments in the wake of budget cuts, upping comedy chief Jenny Hacker to senior director of scripted primetime, while CBC drama head Tom Hastings departed.

Now, the pubcaster is again splitting its scripted primetime department into two divisions – drama and comedy.

“This change will allow for a more specific focus on genre and our relationships with the independent production community,” said Sally Catto, executive director, commissioned and scripted programming, in a statement.

Hacker, who worked on CBC’s programming for the last six years, “has chosen not to be a part of the restructure and to end her time at the CBC,” according to a pubcaster statement.

“We thank Jenny for the significant contributions that she made to the success of CBC programming over the last six years,” Catto said in the statement.

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Helen Asimakis has been tapped as senior director, drama, reporting to Catto. Asimakis has worked at the CBC for the last 12 years as executive in charge of production, overseeing drama and miniseries including Heartland, Republic of Doyle and Keep Your Head Up Kid: The Don Cherry Story. She previously worked as a development exec at Sarrazin Couture Entertainment, CTV and Sullivan Films Entertainment.



And Michelle Daly has been named senior director, comedy, also reporting to Catto. Daly was executive in charge of production since 2011, overseeing comedy series including This Hour Has 22 Minutes, The Ron James Show and the Just for Laughs Gala specials. Previously, Daly was director of content at The Comedy Network.

The pubcaster has undergone a series of exec shakeups in the past year, including the departure of former EVP English Services Kirstine Stewart to head up Twitter Canada; former exec director of studio and unscripted programming Julie Bristow, who launched her own indie prodco Bristow Global Media; former exec in charge of production Patrick O’Sullivan, who launched New Metric Media with Mark Montefiore; and most recently, former exec in charge of production Nataline Rodgrigues, who landed at Rogers Media as original programming head.