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BBC Studios Kids & Family hires Netflix’s Edward Barnieh, ups Alexandra McGrail

BBC Studios Kids & Family has hired former Netflix exec Edward Barnieh as VP of development and promoted Alexandra McGrail to head of commercial.

Edward Barnieh

The newly created senior roles are part of BBC Studios Kids & Family’s restructure as it embarks on an international growth plan. Both Barnieh and McGrail report to MD Cecilia Persson.

Barnieh will lead the development production team across a large portfolio of development projects, providing creative direction across multiple genres and manage the transition from development to production, while assessing marketplace opportunities and risks.

He joins BBC Studios from Netflix, where his roles included manager of animation series for the EMEA region, where he was based in London, and manager of international originals for kids and family in the APAC region, where he was based in Singapore.

Alexandra McGrail

Prior to that, Barnieh spent seven years at Warner Bros Discovery in Hong Kong, where he was latterly director of acquisitions and coproductions, and over five years at Nickelodeon in similar roles.

McGrail, meanwhile, will lead the commercial and business development team, identifying and securing commercial opportunities for kids’ content and managing the total commercial kids and family budget.

Her career at the BBC began in 2011, where she worked in various roles. In 2015, when she was business manager at BBC Children’s, she became one of the six assistant commissioners from BAME backgrounds who were recruited on the then BBC One controller Charlotte Moore’s diversity scheme.

In that role McGrail worked with the controllers of CBBC and CBeebies, helping to implement their channel strategies and engaging with in-house and independent production companies to develop new ideas and encourage new business and creativity for BBC Children’s.

She then left the BBC and worked in other roles including senior commercial manager at Argonon, commercial manager at Leopard Pictures and editor at Channel 4. McGrail returned to the BBC in 2021 as senior commercial manager for BBC Studios.

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