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BBC America gets new boss

AMC Networks has installed SundanceTV president and general manager Sarah Barnett as president and general manager of US cablenet BBC America.

Her appointment is the first big exec shift since AMC Networks paid US$200m for a 49.9% stake in BBC America last month.

Barnett will assume leadership of both channels in early 2015 until a successor is found at Sundance.

BBC America’s current general manager, Perry Simon, has entered into an exclusive production deal with BBC Worldwide North America. The exec previously announced he would step down from his post upon news of BBC America and AMC Networks’ joint venture last month.

The move sees Barnett return to the channel she started her US career with a decade ago. After 12 years with the BBC in London she first moved to the States to become VP of on-air for BBC America, a position she held for four years before joining SundanceTV (fka Sundance Channel) in 2005, initially as senior VP of marketing.

Barnett will continue to report to AMC Networks chief operating officer Ed Carroll.

“Sarah has had a remarkable tenure guiding SundanceTV through a dramatic evolution, taking the network ad-supported and establishing it as a formidable player in the scripted drama space,” Carroll said.


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