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People To Meet: Bob DeBitetto, president, A&E, Bio

Bob DeBitetto is president and general manager, A&E Network and Bio Channel.

Gene Simmons, the founder of rock band Kiss and reality television star, will, unfortunately, not be making another visit to MIPCOM this year following his garrulous performance at last year’s show, but the man who brought him to town will be returning.

DeBitetto, who runs two of the widest-reaching cable networks in the States, will heading to Cannes to meet up with his favourite producers, distributors and international broadcasters and to christen A+E Networks’ new stand in the Palais (taking over E! Entertainment’s old spot).

A&E is coming off the back of its best ever quarter with reality hits including Storage Wars and Hoarders and strong scripted series such as The Glades.  “One of the strengths of the network and the brand is that we haven’t been entirely dependent on one show. We can bring back these shows en masse or in well-timed intervals that help layer in new shows,” says DeBitetto. “We develop and pilot a lot and kick a lot of tyres and have a pretty rigorous development process.”

The broadcaster is currently on the look out for competition series and formats with elimination elements and is looking for its own Amazing Race-style franchise. DeBitetto also says that girl-on-girl hate is one of the key trends and is looking for stories that fit this mould.