New heads of programming coming to A&E and History

New heads of programming coming to A&E and History
Elaine Frontain Bryant and Paul Cabana are taking new positions with A+E Networks. (A+E Networks)

A changing of the programming guard is coming to the A&E and History networks.

Elaine Frontain Bryant, who most recently served as senior vice president of development and programming for History, has been tapped as the new head of programming for A+E Networks' struggling flagship network, A&E.

As part of the transition, Paul Cabana, who currently heads programming for H2 (History's sister network), has been tapped to also head programming for History.

The moves come amid restructuring at the programming operation, which is jointly owned by the Walt Disney Co. and Hearst Corp.

Last month, Lifetime network head Robert Sharenow was named general manager and executive vice president of A&E and Lifetime. His appointment came as both networks seek to reverse ratings declines -- which have hit almost every major cable network in the last year.

"Elaine and Paul are visionary creative executives who over the past few years have been vital to the success of A+E Networks," said Sharenow and History chief Dirk Hoogstra in a joint statement.

"They're both exceptional leaders with strong ties to the creative community who will be developing the next generation of brand-defining hits across multiple platforms for A&E, History and H2," the statement said.

Frontain Bryant will report to Sharenow, while Cabana will report to Hoogstra.

Frontain Bryant returns to A&E after a short time away. She had served as senior vice president of nonfiction and alternative programming for the network from 2005 to 2013, overseeing the launch of "Duck Dynasty," which remains the network's top reality show despite a ratings plunge, as well as "Storage Wars" and "Shipping Wars." Among the shows she oversaw during her short time at History was "Sons of Liberty," a miniseries that had OK ratings but fell short of the performance of 2012's "Hatfields & McCoys."

Cabana also returns to a former home. He was a senior executive producer for History, overseeing such projects as "The World Wars" and "How the States Got Their Shapes," before his move to H2 in 2012.

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