Jana Bennett is coming back to U.S. cable.
The long-time BBC veteran and former president of BBC Worldwide Networks and Global BBC iPlayer has been tapped to head up A+E Networks’ LMN and Bio, realscreen has confirmed.
Bennett had been with the Beeb for more than 30 years, departing last year amid a general restructuring of BBC Worldwide. In 1994, she was appointed as the BBC’s head of science, and was the first woman to hold that position. She left the British pubcaster in 1999 to head to the U.S. as general manager for Discovery Communications’ TLC, where she introduced assorted docureality series and design programs to the network, some of them based on UK formats.
Upon returning to the BBC in 2002, she was named director of television and subsequently, the first director of BBC Vision in 2006.
Bennett’s hire is being reported as the first move by Nancy Dubuc, who takes the mantle as A+E Networks’ president and CEO next month, to further her vision of growth for the company’s second-tier networks – a strategy she first revealed during A+E’s Upfront presentation in New York City.
While Bennett’s title for the new position is still not known, realscreen understands an official announcement of the hire is coming next week. The news was first reported by Deadline.