Simoncini named Oz, NZ MD for NatGeo, Fox

Joins from National Geographic in Washington

SYDNEY -- Karin Simoncini, a former National Geographic Channels International vice president of regional programming and network development, has been appointed managing director of the National Geographic Channels International and Fox International Channel group in Australia and New Zealand, the company said Thursday. 

She will overseei channels including the flagship National Geographic Channel, National Geographic Channel HD, Nat Geo Adventure, Nat Geo Wild and FIC's BabyTV, which is being rolled out here on a number of new IPTV platforms. 

Simoncini said her focus will be on increased local content.

“With upcoming programs such as the 'Pirate Patrol' series about the Australian Navy, there are exciting opportunities to work closely with local documentary makers, whilst at the same time increasing engagement with audiences and our platform partners.”

“I look forward to growing our local presence in a number of ways, including the addition of new channels to NGCI and FIC’s existing suite,” she added. 

Simoncini relocates from Washington to Sydney to replace Ric Burns, who is retiring after overseeing the launch of several new channels in the group here in the last two years. 

Simoncini’s is the second international appointment announced in the pay TV sector this week.

Earlier BBC Worldwide announced the appointment of Deirdre Brennan, to the position of director of television for BBCWW’s channels group. That role encompasses responsibility for UKTV and UKTV New Zealand, BBC Knowledge and CBeebies.

Brennan joins BBC Worldwide from Nickelodeon Australia where she was director of programming director since 2007.