A+E Networks veteran Bob DeBitetto is set to exit as president of the cable group’s studio arm at year’s end.
A+E Networks CEO Nancy Dubuc disclosed the news Monday in a memo to staffers. DeBitetto has been with A+E for 14 years, starting out in 2003 as a programming exec for the company’s flagship A&E Network.
“Bob has been a friend, partner and mentor to me over the course of his entire career at A&E,” Dubuc wrote. “He is widely respected in our industry and is often referred to as ‘the smartest guy in the room.’ “
Dubai said DeBitetto came to her this summer to set his plan to “pursue the next chapter of his storied career.”
A cable industry vet, DeBitetto was a senior programming exec at Turner Broadcasting for seven years before joining A&E. Earlier in his career, he worked in business operations on the film side of Disney.
On DeBitetto’s watch, A+E launched its in-house production arm to better serve A&E, History and Lifetime with original series. Projects that have hailed from the group including Lifetime’s “UnReal” and the miniseries remake of “Roots.” The studio is giving a big push to two upcoming dramas for History: “Six,” revolving around Navy SEALS, and “Knightfall,” a sword-and-sandal vehicle set at the time of the Crusades.
DeBitetto also launched the A&E IndieFilms banner for documentary films. The unit’s productions have included “The September Issue,” “The Tillman Story,” “Client 9” and “The Imposter.”
DeBitetto was tasked with launching the studio arm in June 2013. Before that he spent 10 years at A&E, rising from senior VP to president and g.m. overseeing all programming and marketing for A&E as well as the Bio channel.
On top of his studio responsibilities, De Bitetto served as A+E Networks president of brand strategy and business development.