ABC Entertainment has confirmed an expansion of its specials department resulting in promotions for both John Hamlin and Mark Zakarin.

Hamlin becomes senior VP, variety and event specials, while Zakarin, previously senior VP of marketing, will now be senior VP of marketing and concept specials, as expected (Daily Variety, April 19).

ABC said the shift recognized the importance the network places on specials. Hamlin will continue to oversee and develop all event and variety specials, including awards shows and all star-driven properties.

ABC has started loading up on specials during the major sweeps in addition to regular awards shows that, in the next 12 months, will include the Academy Awards, the Primetime Emmys, the Daytime Emmys, the American Television Awards, the American Music Awards and the American Comedy Awards.

Zakarin will develop all concept specials (an example would be the recent spec “TV’s Funniest Commercials”) in addition to continuing his supervision of advertising and on-air promotion.

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