AMC Networks ups Sarah Barnett to lead Entertainment Networks division

AMC Networks has restructured its executive ranks with the promotion of BBC America chief Sarah Barnett to the role of president of the company’s entertainment networks. In the new role, Barnett will ...
November 5, 2018

AMC Networks has restructured its executive ranks with the promotion of BBC America chief Sarah Barnett to the role of president of the company’s entertainment networks.

In the new role, Barnett will be responsible for overseeing AMC’s entire entertainment portfolio, which includes such nets as AMC, BBC America, SundanceTV and IFC. Her remit will also include direct management of AMC’s premium SVOD service AMC Premiere.

Barnett will now report to AMC Networks’ chief operating officer Ed Carroll.

WE tv will continue to be managed by Marc Juris, who is president and GM of the AMC lifestyle network. He reports to Carroll.

News of Barnett’s elevation follows the implementation of a company-wide restructuring for AMC’s entertainment networks that is said to position the company’s national networks, as well as its AMC Studios operations and its other related businesses, for continued success in a competitive and fast-changing environment. The shuffle also comes in the wake of former AMC president and GM Charlie Collier’s exit to New Fox, as its CEO of entertainment.

Although layoffs are reportedly resulting from the restructuring, realscreen understands that Eliot Goldberg remains in his role as EVP of non-fiction and alternative programming for Sundance TV and AMC.

The repositioning of AMC’s assets was overseen by chief transformation officer Jen Caserta, formerly president and GM of IFC.

“Sarah is an incredibly talented executive who has distinguished herself leading BBC America and, prior to that, SundanceTV, to new heights with acclaimed shows that have redefined each brand,” said Carroll in a statement. “She stands out for being an inspired thinker and innovator who brings a deep knowledge of the business, strong creative instincts and excellent leadership skills to this new role, and she’s well-positioned to make even more significant contributions to our success as we strategically shift to an enterprise-wide structure across our scripted entertainment networks.”

Working for Barnett will also be a number of other key executives, including:

  • Blake Callaway, executive director, who will continue to oversee IFC.
  • Jan Diedrichsen, executive director, who will continue to oversee SundanceTV and the Sundance Now streaming service.
  • Courtney Thomasma, who will be promoted to executive director, overseeing BBC America.
  • Tom Halleen, EVP of programming strategy, acquisitions and scheduling, will continue to oversee scheduling, acquisitions, and promo planning & strategy functions across AMC and SundanceTV, and expands his responsibility to now include BBC America, IFC and WE tv.
  • Mac McKean, EVP of innovation, who will continue to oversee AMC Premiere and expand his responsibility for digital, gaming and new products across AMC, BBC America, SundanceTV and IFC.

Elsewhere, David Madden, currently president of programming for AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios, will add responsibility for BBC America and IFC programming to his portfolio as head of programming. He will report to Barnett in this capacity.

As the head of programming for AMC Studios, meanwhile, Madden will report to Carroll, as will AMC Studios president of business operations Rick Olshansky, and AMC Studios president of production Stefan Reinhardt.

(With files from Barry Walsh)

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.