Buccieri will oversee all aspects of the parent company of A&E Network, History, Lifetime, FYI, and other cable and digital outlets. Buccieri has spent the past two years as head of A+E Studios as well as the operations of History and A&E Network. He will report to the board of directors that oversees the joint venture of Disney and Hearst. Buccieri’s appointment was announced Thursday by Disney/ABC TV Group chief Ben Sherwood and Hearst president-CEO Steven Swartz.
“Paul’s successful track record running A+E Studios and overseeing programming at the portfolio of brands, combined with his experience in worldwide production, distribution, syndication and digital, will further propel A+E Networks’ momentum,” Sherwood and Swartz said in a statement. “He’s a proven leader, strong collaborator and skilled programmer with an eye for identifying trends in the very competitive content marketplace.”
After Dubuc left A+E Networks for the top job at Vice, former A+E Networks leader Abbe Raven returned to the company she helped build over her 30-year tenure to serve as acting chairman during the search for Dubuc’s successor. Raven will remain her role through at least year’s end, Disney and Hearst said. Sherwood and Swartz thanked Raven for her work and for helping to select Buccieri for the promotion.
Buccieri joined A+E Networks in 2015 after a seven-year run at ITV Studios U.S. He was recruited by Dubuc to oversee A&E and History and to rev up the A+E Studios production arm. During his tenure, A&E and History have rebounded from ratings slumps with new franchises such as A&E’s “Live P.D.” and History’s “Alone.” Buccieri in recent months has revved up A+E’s content pipeline by setting unscripted production pacts with Leah Remini, Gretchen Carlson, and Elizabeth Vargas.
Buccieri takes the reins of A+E Networks at a time for turmoil in the pay-TV eco-system in general and for well-established basic cable networks in particular. Like other cable groups, A+E is pushing deeper into content ownership and looking to capitalize on the new wave of digital MVPD outlets (YouTube, Hulu, DirecTV Now, et al) to offset subscriber losses in the traditional cable and satellite TV realm. Buccieri’s background as a programmer was key to securing his promotion.
“I want to sincerely thank our board members at Disney and Hearst for offering me this exceptional opportunity to lead A+E Networks during this transformative time in media,” Buccieri said. “I could not be prouder of A+E’s powerful brands, strong partnerships and, most importantly, the talented people I get to work with every day. We look forward to expanding on our solid foundation of creativity.”
Buccieri got his start in the biz as a producer of unscripted TV. Before ITV, he served as president of programming, production and development at Fox’s Twentieth Television.