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Simon exits as Barnett takes on BBC America

BBC America’s 49.9% stakeholder, AMC Networks, has appointed SundanceTV executive Sarah Barnett as president and general manager of BBC America.

Sarah BarnettBarnett, who has been at AMC-owned SundanceTV for ten years and is the network’s president and general manager, will replace BBC America’s current general manager, Perry Simon.

She is due to begin her new role in early 2015, overseeing both BBC America and Sundance TV for an interim period until a successor at SundanceTV is named.

With the move, Simon will take up an exclusive production deal with BBC Worldwide North America. Development commitments are already in place from BBC America and AMC Networks.

“I’m delighted Sarah is to lead BBC America as the new general manager within the joint venture. She has a fantastic track record in the kind of intelligent, creative content that is BBC America’s hallmark. And as a highly respected, collaborative team leader I have every confidence she will deliver success for both joint venture partners,” said BBC Worldwide CEO, Tim Davie.

Perry SimonBarnett will be based in New York and will lead BBC America’s day-to-day operations, including overall creative and brand strategy, production and development, digital strategy and marketing. She will continue to report to AMC Networks’ chief operating officer Ed Carroll.

Barnett joined SundanceTV in 2005 as senior vice president of marketing, becoming head of SundanceTV in 2009 and a year later launched the network’s scripted strategy. Previously she was vice president of on-air for BBC America for four years, after spending 12 years with the BBC in London.

The BBC Trust last month approved the partnership between BBC Worldwide and AMC Networks that saw the latter take a 49.9% stake in BBC America.