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ABC Daytime has released their official statement regarding the replacement of Jill Farren Phelps as executive producer of GENERAL HOSPITAL with former ONE LIFE TO LIVE head Frank Valentini, news that Soaps In Depth broke last night. Additionally, the network is officially confirming that OLTL head scribe Ron Carlivati will be taking over as headwriter of the drama series. Both positions are effective January 9, 2012.
"Frank and Ron's creativity, passion and outstanding leadership will be a welcome addition to the cast and crew, as well as viewers and longtime fans," says ABC Daytime president Brian Frons in the statement. "As creative leaders in the industry, I am very excited for their arrival to GH and their dedication to the genre will certainly invigorate the daytime drama that has been part of the pop culture and the TV landscape for many years."
Valentini -- who has served as OLTL's executive producer since 2002 -- adds, "I look forward to this next exciting chapter working with the wonderful cast and crew of GH. This is an incredible opportunity for me to extend my passion and expertise for daytime television as I continue my relationship with Disney/ABC Television Group and become part of an extraordinary team in 2012."
For his part, Carlivati was a member of the OLTL team for 15 years, serving as headwriter from 2007-2011. While sources tell Soaps In Depth that Carlivati will be replacing current GH headwriter Garin Wolf at the post, ABC has yet to officially comment on what Wolf's future status with the soap will be.
UPDATE: An ABC spokesperson reports that GH's current headwriter, Garin Wolf, and co-headwriter Shelly Altman will remain a part of the show's writing staff, but in a different capacity.