Ancier carries flag for the BBC

Exec charged with leading U.S. ops, developing brand

Former WB Network chairman Garth Ancier has been named president of BBC Worldwide Americas' U.S. operations, part of a corporate restructuring that will bring all of the company's U.S. activity under the leadership of one person (HR 2/14).

In the newly created post, Ancier will be responsible for developing the BBC brand in the U.S., including expanding BBC Worldwide's portfolio of channels, which includes the flagship cable channel BBC America, now in more than 53 million homes. Management also has expressed a desire to expand its BBC World news channel in the U.S. (it's now in about 2 million homes) and to launch a preschool kids channel and a high-definition channel.

Ancier also will work with U.S. networks on behalf of L.A.-based BBC Worldwide Prods. to produce shows and formats. The company's credits include such unscripted shows as ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" and NBC's "Grease: You're the One That I Want." It also is a producer on three scripted pilots in contention for fall 2007 — "Viva Laughlin!" (CBS), "The Thick of It" (ABC) and "I'm With Stupid" (NBC) — and recently signed a first-look deal with Sony Pictures Television.

In addition, Ancier will manage BBC Worldwide's U.S. TV and video sales business and oversee the introduction of the company's Web-based program-delivery system, bbc.com, which is in the process of approval.

Ancier will be based in BBC Worldwide Americas' New York headquarters, reporting to BBC Worldwide CEO John Smith. All U.S. businesses will report to Ancier effective immediately.

Ancier also was the inaugural entertainment president at Fox, head of the Walt Disney Co.'s TV production unit, entertainment president at NBC and executive vp programming at Turner Broadcasting System Inc. He also created and executive produced the long-running daytime talk show "Ricki Lake."

"Garth has an impeccable pedigree in U.S. media," Smith said. "His experience with America's most formidable networks, in both traditional and new media, will be fantastic for us as we grow the BBC brand in this market.

"Bringing all of our businesses in the U.S. under the guidance of someone with Garth's experience and vision will be invaluable for BBC Worldwide as we move to double the scale of our business in this territory."
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