BBC Worldwide N.A. ups Forde, confirms Tranter exit

BBC Worldwide North America has tapped Matt Forde (pictured, left) as executive VP of content production, sales and distribution following the imminent departure of Jane Tranter (pictured, right).
July 7, 2015

BBC Worldwide North America has tapped Matt Forde (pictured, left) as executive VP of content production, sales and distribution following the resignation of Jane Tranter (pictured, right).

Tranter, head of BBC Worldwide Productions and Adjacent Productions, joined the commercial arm of the BBC in January 2009 to create scripted and unscripted content where she’s overseen the production of an estimated 870 hours of programming for the company, including the U.S. version of Top Gear for History and rejuvenation of Dancing With the Stars from seasons eight to 20 on ABC.

Tranter was also behind the launch of Adjacent Productions in 2011. The offshoot prodco was tasked with further developing original formats and series, including Life Below Zero (National Geographic Channel), Ladies of London (Bravo), and Lost in Transmission (History).

Although news broke of her plans to leave in March via the UK trade press, Tranter’s departure date is set at August 14, alongside Julie Gardner, senior VP of scripted for BBC, in pursuit of launching an independent prodco.

“It has been an honor to have had the responsibility of reformatting so many iconic BBC programs, and a creative privilege to have founded the Adjacent label to develop and produce original programming on behalf of BBC Worldwide,” Tranter said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Forde, currently executive VP of TV sales and digital distribution, will expand his post to include heading both LA-based production units while also spending time in New York. He will report to Ann Sarnoff, inbound president of BBC Worldwide North America.

In his new role, Forde is to integrate the pubcaster’s production, development, sales and distribution capabilities to augment the range of BBC IP and formats. He will work closely with Courtney Conte, chief operating officer of BBC Worldwide Productions, to ensure the company’s continued growth.

Since joining BBC Worldwide North America in 2009, Forde has been responsible for securing U.S. copro partners for a range of projects, most recently inking a three-year deal with PBS that will produce up to 10 factual specials per year, such as Big Blue Live and Waking Giants.

Forde has previously held senior creative and commercial roles at BBC Worldwide prior to joining the North American arm, where he worked alongside a raft of independent UK factual, drama, and comedy prodcos. He also established the BBC Worldwide investment strategy with the BBC.

“Matt is unmistakably a champion of producers, writers, and creators – this coupled with his passion for the BBC’s unrivaled, high-quality output will no doubt prove to be a win for the company and our valued partners,” said Herb Scannell, president of BBC Worldwide North America. “I’m proud of what Jane has accomplished, and look forward to seeing Matt soar in his new, expanded role.”

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