History names Bennett president, GM as Hoogstra exits

Jana Bennett (right), previously president of A+E's FYI and LMN, has been appointed president and GM for History, as Dirk Hoogstra (left) leaves the company.
September 18, 2015

Change at the top has come to A+E’s History, with Jana Bennett, most recently president for FYI and LMN, moving over to replace outgoing president and GM Dirk Hoogstra.

Bennett, who came back to the U.S. in 2013 following a stint in the UK with the BBC, will report to History and A&E president Paul Buccieri.

Hoogstra, meanwhile, will “return to his roots in independent production,” according to History.

“Jana has one of the strongest track records building and shaping global brands – first at the BBC and now here at A+E Networks,” said A+E Networks president and CEO Nancy Dubuc in a statement. “She joined our company with the mandate to take our networks into new and exciting places and what she’s done with FYI in such a short amount of time is remarkable. History and H2 will greatly benefit from her creative prowess and steady stewardship.”

“I have long been a fan of Jana’s work, particularly with what she’s done with FYI and LMN,” added Buccieri. “Her vast experience in all genres of programming, marketing, distribution and digital is unparalleled and I’m very much looking forward to working with her at History.”

“We thank Dirk for his many contributions to History,” he continued. “He was the force behind some of the network’s greatest successes that helped propel History to become one of entertainment’s top brands.”

With Bennett moving to head up History, a search for her replacement at FYI and LMN will commence shortly, according to A+E.

Bennett, whose time at the BBC included stints as president for BBC Worldwide Networks and as director of BBC Vision, launched FYI, A+E’s lifestyle brand, in July of 2014. According to A+E, in one year, the network experienced double-digit growth over its predecessor, Bio, aided by hits such as Married at First Sight and Tiny House Nation, among others. At LMN, she’s credited with reinventing the brand and shepherding such strong performers as Escaping Polygamy, I Love You But I Lied and Monster in My Family.

Bennett came to FYI with previous experience in re-inventing a lifestyle network, via her stint as EVP and general manager of TLC, during which she launched such staples as Trading Spaces, What Not to Wear and Junkyard Wars.

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.