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Since transitioning to A&E and BIO in April 2011 from A+E Television Networks’ History, McKillop, 53, has extended his vision beyond the recession reality (History’s Pawn Stars, A&E’s Storage Wars) that propelled both A&E and History into the top five among adsupported cable networks and into a milieu that emphasizes self-reliance.
“We’re redefining the American family and the workplace,” he says, adding that Storage Wars (which is averaging 4.6 million viewers in 2012) has two hit spinoffs in Storage Wars: Texas (3 million) and Shipping Wars (2.4 million). “They’re about scrappy entrepreneurialism, which is just under the surface of the American psyche,” he says.
McKillop’s goal at A&E, which is coming off of nine consecutive years of ratings gains, is continued growth. His motto for his development team? “Have a vision and be demanding.”