Following BBC Worldwide’s restructure earlier this year, David Weiland, executive vice president for Western Europe, has unveiled the team of executives that will run the company’s businesses including licensing in the Benelux, France, Germany, Iberia, Italy and the Nordics.
Earlier this year the business was reconfigured from divisional to geographic lines of management in order to increase its focus on international markets and enable it to capture future growth opportunities around the world.
Each newly appointed regional head will be responsible for strategy and business development across all businesses in their region including TV and digital sales, channels, production and format sales, licensing, publishing and live events.
The new appointments include:
- Jon Farrar, vice president branded services, BBC Worldwide Western Europe: Previously vice president of programming for BBC Worldwide Channels EMEA, Farrar will be responsible for all BBC-branded services across Western European territories, overseeing content and brand strategies for channels, blocks and non-linear services as well as developing the global editorial strategy for BBC Worldwide’s channels business.
- Gabriele Galassi, head of Benelux: Galassi previously headed up program sales for Iberia. In his new role he will oversee all BBCW businesses in Benelux as well as a portfolio of BBC public service channels in the territory.
- Isabelle Helle, head of German-speaking territories: Helle has overseen BBC Worldwide’s program sales for German-speaking territories since 2004. She and her team also co-produce a portfolio of BBC drama, factual and natural history programs with a range of German broadcasters and production companies. Helle will also continue to be a part of Tower Productions, the joint venture between BBC Worldwide and ALL3Media Germany.
- Francesca Doria, director, Italy and Iberia: Doria previously served as territory manager for Northern Mediterranean program sales. In her new role she will also oversee Italy’s BBC Knowledge channel, format licensing and live events.
- Richard Hornsby-Smith, director, Nordics: Hornsby-Smith previously served as head of Nordics and Benelux for BBC Worldwide’s TV sales business, and before that he ran the company’s sports division.
- Jean-Louis Blot, head of production, France: Since setting up the production office in 2008, Blot has produced a number of successful shows and is currently working on the fourth season of “Dancing with the Stars.” He will also oversee all the commercial brand activities for the various programs made by BBC Worldwide France Productions.
- Sandra Petkovic, head of French-speaking territories (excluding production): Petkovic has been territory manager in France since 2009, overseeing a sales team based in Paris and London. Her new position will see her manage all of the company’s business interests in French-speaking territories excluding BBC Worldwide Productions France.
“Western Europe is a key market for BBC Worldwide,” says Weiland. “With a number of established businesses and the exceptional sales growth in the region, it’s vital to create roles that have responsibility across all commercial areas. The combination of this new structure and a senior management team, who are experts in their field and well connected in their territories, will allow our clients, for the first time, to have one point of contact for the BBC brand in their market. With MIPCOM imminent, it will be an ideal opportunity for our partners to meet the new team.”