People on the Move

Top C4 commissioning editor heads to Sky One; BBC factual director resigns; the Beeb's NHU appoints a new 'top dog'
January 30, 2003

BSkyB chief Dawn Airey continues to fill key positions with executives from rival networks. Airey has named Channel 4′s Sara Ramsden as controller of BSkyB entertainment channel Sky One. Ramsden is currently the head of C4′s contemporary factual group and is slated to assume her new responsibilities in March.

As the new controller, Ramsden will be taking on duties previously performed by Kate Marsh, BSkyB’s deputy director of broadcasting and production. Marsh is moving to Italian pay TV network Stream, where she will develop pay-TV channels. (See RealScreen’s February issue for more details.)

When Airey’s not doing her own hiring, she’s recommending people for her old job. According to The Guardian, Jane Lighting, head of cable-TV firm Flextech, will soon be offered the chief executive’s job at Five.

The BBC announced Michael Stevenson’s resignation as joint director of factual and learning. The move follows an inquiry into how Stevenson handled the BBC’s application to the government about offering digital curriculum to schools. The inquiry revealed that he engaged in improper discussions with potential partners. Stevenson had been with the BBC since 1983.

The BBC has appointed Neil Nightingale as head of its natural history department, replacing Keith Scholey, who vacated the post last November to head up the BBC’s specialist factual department (see RealScreen Plus, November 28, 2002). Nightingale is a 20-year veteran of the department and is particularly associated with wildlife program Natural World.

More news concerning the Beeb: Richard Hopkins has been appointed creative head – format entertainment for BBC Entertainment. Hopins, a former executive producer for reality format Fame Academy, will leave Endemol UK at the end of March.

Discovery-owned cable network TLC announced the appointment of Roger Marmet to the position of senior vice president and general manager. Marmet, formerly the VP of programming, has been the channel’s acting general manager since April 2002.

Vivendi Universal’s board of directors appointed three new directors: Gérard Brémond, chairman and CEO of Pierre & Vacances Group; Bertrand Collomb, chairman and CEO of Lafarge; and Paul Fribourg, chairman and CEO of ContiGroup Companies, bringing the total number of directors to 12.

Moses Znaimer, founder of Toronto-based Citytv, announced that he was taking an indefinite sabbatical from CHUM Television. CHUM owns Citytv’s numerous channels, including MuchMusic and FashionTV.

Cable network TNN announced the promotion of Kevin Kay to the position of executive vice president, programming and production. Kay will continue his current responsibilities for production and original series development for both TNN and Nickelodeon.

National Geographic Television & Film announced the appointment of Donna Friedman Meir as president of kids’ programming and production. Friedman Meir will head the development of entertainment programming aimed at the youth market.

Film Australia announced that indie filmmaker Chris Warner will be filling the newly created position of producer, education. In this role, Warner will develop programs for educational use.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.