Rob Sharenow has been named executive VP and general manager of A&E, the network announced Monday. He replaces David McKillop, who is stepping down to return to producing.
Sharenow, a 15-year company veteran, will continue to serve as executive VP and GM of A&E's sister network Lifetime, a role he has held since June 2013.
The executive shakeup follows Paul Buccieri's appointment in November by A+E Networks as president of A&E and History. In his dual role, Sharenow will report to both Buccieri in regard to A&E and will continue to report to A+E Networks president and CEO Nancy Dubuc.
"Under Rob’s leadership at Lifetime, the brand is undergoing a revitalization with a record number of Emmy nominations and returning series," Buccieri said in a memo to staff. "Rob is a great leader with the right balance of creative acumen and strategic vision, essential for today’s changing landscape."
Sharenow joined Lifetime in 2011 as executive VP of programming. Before Lifetime was folded into A&E by parent companies The Walt Disney Co. and The Hearst Corp., Sharenow was senior VP of non-fiction and alternative programming at A&E Network. Before that he was executive producer of History’s This Week in History.
McKillop, an A+E Networks veteran, took over as GM of A&E in 2013 after serving as the network's head of programming. He was responsible for developing Duck Dynasty, A&E's highest rated series ever. He previously held programming positions at Bio and History.
The move comes amid ratings struggles for A+E Networks, which have dropped 34% across the company’s portfolio of networks. Lifetime in particular, which Sharenow has headed since 2013, was down 10% among adults 18-49.
Buccieri's full memo is below:
Good morning everyone,
I have some news to share.
I will be announcing in the press today that Rob Sharenow has been appointed Executive Vice President & General Manager, A&E and Lifetime.
After a successful twenty-five year career in television, David McKillop has made the decision to return to his roots as a producer. I would like to thank David for his extraordinary contributions to both A&E and History, where he is credited with evolving the brand and developing many hit series including; Pawns Stars, American Pickers and Swamp People. I know you all join me in wishing him continued success and are excited for him to share the details of his next venture soon. I hope his future producing endeavors find a home on A+E Networks.
After 10 years of tremendous growth – we have a renewed focus on re-establishing A&E as a top-tier brand. Rob is the ideal candidate for the job. Before his tenure at Lifetime, Rob was instrumental in the success of A&E for nearly a decade. He was a key member of A&E’s leadership team that developed some of the network’s biggest hit franchises. Under Rob’s leadership at Lifetime, the brand is undergoing a revitalization with a record number of Emmy nominations and returning series. Rob is a great leader with the right balance of creative acumen and strategic vision, essential for today’s changing landscape.
Rob will report to me for A&E and continue to report to Nancy, in regard to Lifetime, effective immediately. In his new role, Rob will oversee all content creation, brand development and marketing for both networks.
Please join me in wishing David well, and in congratulating Rob on his new role.
Jon Lafayette contributed to this report.