Sky Names Zai Bennett U.K. Content Chief

Zai Bennett - Getty P 2016
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The former BBC and ITV executive, most recently head of Sky Atlantic, becomes director of programs at Sky Entertainment U.K. and Ireland.

European pay TV giant Sky has promoted Zai Bennett, most recently head of premium drama channel Sky Atlantic in the U.K., to the post of director of programs at Sky Entertainment U.K. and Ireland.

Bennett, who will retain responsibility for Sky Atlantic, which shows popular dramas from the likes of HBO and Showtime, is a former BBC top executive who joined Sky in 2014. Jamie Morris will take on the new position of channel editor at Sky Atlantic while continuing to oversee the scheduling for the channel and Sky Arts.

Bennett, a former BBC Three head and former ITV2 controller will oversee a team that includes Sky 1 and Sky Living boss Adam MacDonald, Phil Edgar-Jones, head of Sky Arts and non-scripted programming, as well as head of comedy Jon Mountague and head of kids content Lucy Murphy.

Head of drama Anne Mensah and head of acquisitions Sarah Wright will continue to report to Sky's managing director of content Gary Davey, who announced the news on Thursday.

"Zai has been a key member of the content team since 2014 and in that time has done an outstanding job of managing and curating the brilliant Sky Atlantic brand," said Davey. "I am delighted with the progress we have made on our content journey in the U.K., and we are ready to take our programming to a whole new level. The changes announced today will enable us to have a clearer focus for the content plan in the U.K. and Ireland while other members of my team continue to have responsibilities to both the U.K. and the rest of Europe."

Said Bennett: "It’s a hugely exciting time for Sky’s entertainment channels, with more amazing new original and acquired shows than ever before. I’m really looking forward to working incredibly closely with Gary, Adam, Phil, Jon, Anne, Sarah, Jamie and Lucy on how we continue to raise the bar and offer our customers the very best TV."

21st Century Fox owns a 39 percent stake in Sky, which operates in the U.K., Ireland, Italy, Germany and Austria.