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Jana Bennett joins new look A+E

Jana_Bennett_groupFormer BBC Worldwide president of worldwide networks Jana Bennett has re-emerged at A+E Networks, where she will make up part of a new-look team operating under new president and CEO Nancy Dubuc.

Bennett, who exited BBCWW last year as part of a major restructure of the BBC’s commercial arm, will become president of the second-tier LMN and bio channels, which Dubuc has identified as set for a push this year in a bid to further grow the Disney and Hearst joint venture A+E business. Bennett will oversee all aspects of programming, marketing, development, brand strategy and publicity for the nets, reporting into Dubuc.

“I am thrilled that Jana is joining A+E Networks. She is an experienced industry veteran who knows how to build and grow brands and create long-running franchises. Over the coming year, our goal is to grow our emerging networks into the powerful platforms that [tier one cable nets such as] History, A&E and Lifetime have become and Jana is the person to take us there. I am looking forward to her success in this new role,” said Dubuc.

Bennett is one of four new appointments, the first Dubuc has made after officially replacing Abbe Raven as CEO this month.

Robert DeBitetto, president and general manager of A&E and bio, has become president of brand strategy and business development, A+E Studios, where he will oversee original content production models. He will also oversee cross network brand strategies and continue to oversee documentary unit A&E IndieFilms. DeBitetto also previously oversaw the Crime & Investigation Network.

Dirk Hoogstra, who has been credited with developing scripted drama smashes Hatfields & McCoys and The Bible, has been promoted to executive VP and general manager of History and H2. He was formerly exec VP, development and programming for the channels.

David McKillop has been named exec VP and general manager, A&E network, having previously been exec VP, programming for A&E and bio, during which time he helped develop A&E’s top rated series ever, reality series Duck Dynasty; and Rob Sharenow is now exec VP and general manager, Lifetime. He was previously. He previously ran programming for the network.

“These are the people who have led their teams to some of the biggest successes on television over the last two years, including Hatfields & McCoys, The Bible, Vikings, Duck Dynasty, Bates Motel, Storage Wars, Dance Moms, Client List and Steel Magnolias,” said Dubuc.