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Wish WWE’s new Senior Vice President of Creative Writing luck - she’s gonna need it

2017 Summer TCA Tour - Day 5 Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Last month, WWE posted a job listing on LinkedIn for a Lead Writer. Yesterday (Jan. 4), they announced the hiring of Christine Lubrano as Senior Vice President of Creative Writing Operations.

It’s not 100% clear to me these are the same positions. But if they’re not, it seems safe to assume the Lead Writer or Writers would report to the SVP of Creative Writing, so let’s look at them together.

Lubrano is certainly qualified. She has over 20 years of experience producing and developing television, including as SVP of Original Programming & Development for cable network IFC. Her background includes producing live television, and she was nominated for an Emmy for her documentary work. She’s been involved in a lot of avante-garde comedy projects that I’m personally a fan of, such as Scott Aukerman’s Comedy Bang Bang, and Bill Hader, Seth Meyers and Fred Armisen’s Documentary Now!

She’s an exciting hire, especially in light of last year’s big additions from the outside, notably President & Chief Revenue Officer Nick Khan. You could imagine a scenario where these new outside voices push WWE in interesting new directions...

The problem is that every insider report we’ve ever heard about the company says that all decisions, and especially all creative decisions, filter through one man - CEO & Chairman Vince McMahon. The entire wrestling business wouldn’t be where it is today with McMahon, and he remains capable of bold action & strong ideas. But we’ve heard too many different people point to him as WWE’s creative bottleneck or even logjam.

Will Lubrano be able to bring anything different to our screens as long as her plans have to be filtered through Vince, a creator who works from the gut and seems to struggle meshing his vision with the work of his team?

These responsibilities from the Lead Writer posting in particular sound like they shouldn’t apply to the WWE creative environment industry observers have been reporting on for years:

- Lead writing team discussions in brainstorming and laying out weekly episodes and long-term storylines

- Responsible for the development of clearly defined yet emotionally sophisticated characters for a diverse group of WWE Superstars through thought provoking, captivating, and creative storylines

- Edit in-ring promos and backstage segments submitted by writing team members for continuity, character consistency, storyline progression and final punch-ups

- Compile, write, edit, and take ownership of the drafts for their respective shows weekly, including all promotions, graphics, replays and pop culture references

How can you accomplish any of those things when scripts are re-written hours before showtime, and major storyline directions change multiple times per month, all based on the intuition of one man?

So, like the headline says, let’s wish Lubrano luck. I hope she gets a chance to leave her mark on WWE. But if history is any guide, I’m not betting on it.

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