Ryan Ward had been working as the lead writer for SmackDown but he is now out. The official word is that he's on a personal leave. We've noted how Vince McMahon has been making heavy edits to the blue brand TV scripts as of late, and there had been an internal feeling that some sort of SmackDown change was inevitable.
With Ward gone from SmackDown, Ed Koskey will be moving to the blue brand. Koskey had been working as the head RAW writer. Koskey, who has been with WWE for more than 18 years, will be working with SmackDown Executive Director Eric Bischoff now. Koskey is currently WWE's Vice President of Creative Writing. He's worked as a top writer for more than 10 years.
The new RAW lead writer is Jonathan Baeckstrom. He will be working under RAW Executive Director Paul Heyman. Baeckstrom had been working as the lead writer for 205 Live since November 2016, but he was recently moved from the show because Heyman brought him to the red brand when he was hired as Executive Director.
The RAW and SmackDown writing teams are being split up before the official talent roster split comes during the second week of October, which is the WWE Draft that we reported on earlier today.