BBC Worldwide today appointed Herb Scannell as President, BBC Worldwide America, responsible for the company’s U.S. operations. His appointment is effective immediately.
Formerly President of Nickelodeon Networks and Vice Chairman of MTV Networks, Scannell was most recently CEO of Next New Networks, a digital media company he co-founded in 2006.
In his new role Scannell is responsible for growing the BBC brand and the business across all divisions in the U.S., the BBC’s largest market outside the UK. He will sit on BBC Worldwide’s Executive Board.
His responsibilities in the U.S. include flagship cable channel BBC AMERICA and BBC AMERICA HD, BBC Worldwide Productions, BBC.com, Sales and Distribution including Digital Syndication and Motion Gallery, Home Entertainment including Audiobooks, and Licensed Consumer Products. He will also oversee the exploitation of BBC Worldwide’s Global Brands in America.
BBC AMERICA, now in 67 million homes, attracts one of television’s most affluent audiences and recently recorded its highest ever ratings for the sci-fi series Doctor Who, and its highest ever profit for the financial year 2009/10. BBC Worldwide Productions produces ratings juggernaut Dancing With The Stars which just concluded its tenth season on ABC. The Home Entertainment division yesterday released Life – the follow-up to natural history blockbuster Planet Earth.
John Smith, CEO BBC Worldwide said: “Herb has a tremendous track record of success in developing and extending innovative brands across multiple platforms, which is precisely the experience needed to help build the next phase for BBC Worldwide in the U.S.. Our American businesses have delivered significant successes in recent years – not least record ratings for flagship shows Dancing With The Stars and Doctor Who in the past month – and we believe Herb is the right person to leverage this success and build a power brand for the BBC in the U.S..”
Herb Scannell added: “I’ve been associated with innovative brands and businesses throughout my career, and there’s none more innovative in television than the BBC. It’s a world renowned brand with a great portfolio of businesses in the U.S. that have tremendous prospects. I’m excited to be bringing these businesses together to make America an even bigger success for BBC Worldwide. The cable channel with a desirable upscale audience has great growth in front of it. And as for the Production studio, I’m looking forward to working with EVP Jane Tranter in LA, and having the support of Global MD Content and Production Wayne Garvie in London, to expand the production agenda and build on the outstanding program successes already achieved in the U.S.. Added to that, the digital assets of BBC Worldwide are awesome.”
Scannell spent much of his career at Viacom. As Vice Chairman of MTV Networks and President of Nickelodeon Networks he oversaw all creative and business operations for a portfolio of brands including Nickelodeon, the #1 rated network in cable TV for 10 years running, TV Land, the cable home of classic TV and Spike TV, America’s first network for men. In addition he was responsible for a suite of digital networks including pre-school channel Noggin, as well as online offerings, a successful feature film division and Viacom’s Consumer Products division, which grew into the third largest licensing business in the world under his watch.
Scannell began his career at MTV Networks as Director of Programming, Nickelodeon in 1988. In this role he was instrumental in turning Nickelodeon into a production powerhouse with the birth of Nicktoons (Rugrats, Ren & Stimpy, Doug) and innovative live action shows such as Clarissa Explains It All and The Secret World of Alex Mack.
After becoming President of Nickelodeon in 1996, he successfully expanded Nickelodeon’s brand into feature films, consumer products, magazines, online, live theatrical shows and built the first new animation studio in Los Angeles in 40 years, creating hits including Spongebob Squarepants, Hey Arnold and Fairly Odd Parents. Other hits included pre-school favorites Blue’s Clues and Dora the Explorer. Scannell went on to position Nick as the kids online and digital media leader with the 2005 acquisition of Neopets.
Prior to joining Nickelodeon and MTV Networks, he held various marketing and promotional positions in pay TV at The Movie Channel and Showtime.
In 2006, he left Viacom to launch Next New Networks, a company set up to produce and distribute micro-television networks targeting niche communities on the internet. Scannell served as CEO until late 2008 and was most recently Chairman of the Board.
Scannell replaces Garth Ancier who left the role of President, BBC Worldwide America on March 31 2010. Ancier continues as a BBC Worldwide America Non-executive Board member.