CBC’s Sally Catto on scripted division restructure


On Monday, the CBC announced that its primetime scripted division would again be restructured, splitting its comedy and drama departments back into separate divisions.

The news followed a previous restructure last July that saw the two departments consolidated into one division, following Sally Catto’s return to the CBC as executive director of commissioned and scripted programming.

Catto tells Playback the decision to move back to separate departments is one that was made to best serve the indie production community.

“Looking at it over the past year, the volume of submissions we get, the volume of development, production, the expertise required in each genre, we just felt that it would be better to have a separate focus for each [genre],” says Catto. “We’ve determined from experience that the model we’re returning to is better for us,” she adds.

Helen Asimakis will spearhead drama development as senior director, drama, while Michelle Daly as senior director, comedy will head up that genre, both reporting to Catto.

Catto says she’s leaving it to Asimakis and Daly to determine how they will structure their development pitching processes, which she says will be straightforward and transparent for indie producers.

“Really this decision is about how to work best with the community,” she adds. “We do a significant amount of production [in both genres] and it just felt like we’re always looking at what is best for our programming and what is best for our relationship with the community.”