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Sarah Barnett named president, GM of BBC America

Following its purchase of a 49.9% stake in the channel, AMC Networks has appointed the SundanceTV president and GM to head up BBC America, effective early 2015.
November 21, 2014

AMC Networks has named Sarah Barnett, currently president and general manager of its SundanceTV, to the same role for cable channel BBC America.

Following its purchase of a 49.9% stake in the channel from BBC Worldwide, with which it now operates BBC America as a joint venture, AMC Networks will move Barnett into the new role in early 2015, and she will oversee both BBC America and SundanceTV on an interim basis until a new president and GM is found for the latter. Meanwhile, BBC America’s current general manager, Perry Simon, is entering into an exclusive production deal with BBC Worldwide North America.

Barnett will be based in New York City and will lead the channel’s day-to-day operations, including its creative and brand strategy, production and development, digital strategy and marketing. She continues to report to AMC Networks’ COO Ed Carroll.

The move to BBC America marks a return to the company, as she held various roles in production and marketing with BBC America and the BBC prior to her decade-long turn at Sundance TV.

“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,” said Carroll in a statement. “Sarah’s appetite for creative risk-taking and her strong leadership skills are well suited to this new role and we look forward to her building on BBC America’s successes, as the network continues to establish itself as a showcase for high quality shows that resonate with critics and audiences alike.”

Tim Davie, CEO of BBC Worldwide, added: “I’m delighted Sarah is to lead BBC America as the new general manager within the joint venture. She has a fantastic track record in the kind of intelligent, creative content that is BBC America’s hallmark. And as a highly respected, collaborative team leader I have every confidence she will deliver success for both joint venture partners.”

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