Jana Bennett, former president and general manager of History, has joined international digital magazine OZY Media to help drive development of the multi-platform company’s original productions.
As executive-at-large and senior adviser, Bennett will board the Mountain View, California-based firm with responsibility for managing and expanding its television series and podcast operations.
Founded in 2013 by Emmy Award-winning journalist Carlos Watson and co-founder Samir Rao, OZY has already sold four television programs to PBS, BBC, Amazon and Facebook, and has another six deals currently in development. Series in its production stable currently includes The Contenders — 16 for ’16, Third Rail with OZY, Breaking Big and Take On America.
An experienced industry executive, Bennett joined A+E Networks in June 2013 and oversaw the rebranding of lifestyle network FYI and the reinvention of the LMN brand. She was named to president and GM of History in September 2015 and was responsible for managing all strategic planning, programming, marketing and brand development for History and H2.
Prior to joining A+E Networks, Bennett was president of BBC Worldwide Networks and Global BBC iPlayer. During her role at BBC Worldwide, she was responsible for 16 branded channels, across 100 countries, reaching 380 million subscriber homes. Before that, she headed up BBC Television and was responsible for the BBC’s six free-to-air channels in the UK, overseeing such series launches as Planet Earth, Top Gear, Walking with the Dinosaurs and Strictly Come Dancing.
Additionally, Bennett previously held the position of EVP and GM of TLC Network and Discovery Pictures.
“We have seen our television and podcast businesses explode in the past year,” said OZY Media’s Watson in a statement. “OZY’s creativity knows no bounds. The industry has responded extremely well to our wide range of content and the high production quality. Jana is precisely the type of leader who can build on OZY’s early success in TV and podcasts thus far, and help us reach new heights.”
“OZY is a brand that has so many attractive projects in the pipeline, great journalism you can trust and a young, savvy, loyal audience who follows OZY across all media and live events. This is the time to be part of the OZY story,” added Bennett.