“Access” and “Access Live” have laid off multiple long-serving producers in both New York and Los Angeles, Variety has learned from sources.
“Access” — formerly “Access Hollywood” — has let go supervising music producer Nancy Harrison and senior news producer Christine Fahey, along with supervising producers Ryan Patterson and Adam Jordan and crew coordinator Steve Holt. All had been with the show for two decades. In addition, supervising producer of TV coverage Stephanie Murphy and senior news consultant Diana Dasrath have been laid off as well. Sources say all were informed of the decision on Thursday.
An individual with knowledge of the layoffs said that they came as part of the new creative direction “Access” is taking under the direction of executive producer Maureen FitzPatrick. Three months ago, longtime “Access” executive producer Rob Silverstein exited after having been with the show since its launch. At that time, Silverstein said in a memo to staffers that his “vision of the show moving forward differs from the management team.” FitzPatrick was named as his replacement.
FitzPatrick said at the time of her hiring that she and NBC would be looking to make significant changes to “Access” in order to combat ratings erosion in the digital age. ““The ‘Access’ brand has become the gold standard and I’m excited to take its legacy to the next level with innovative new ideas that give viewers even more ways to connect with all their favorite entertainment stories,” she said.
In the recently released May sweeps ratings, which covered the period from April 25-May 22, “Access” averaged approximately 1.7 million viewers per episode and a 1.2 household rating. By comparison, “Entertainment Tonight” averaged 4 million viewers and a 2.8 rating in the same time period.