Another executive shake-up is underway at A+E Networks.
Dirk Hoogstra, who has been serving as the General Manager of History and H2 since 2013, is exiting his post effective immediately and will be replaced by current FYI and LMN President Jana Bennett, who has been named President and General Manager of History.
As President, Bennett will be responsible for all strategic planning, programming, marketing and brand development for both History and sister network H2. She will based in New York and will report directly to Paul Buccieri, President and General Manager of A&E and History. A search is underway to find a new President for FYI and LMN.
Hoogstra’s exit is said to have been his choice, as a result of his desire to return to his roots in independent production. The exec is widely credited with spearheading the scripted drive at History with shows such as Vikings and Sons Of Liberty. “We thank Dirk for his many contributions to History,” said Buccieri. “He was the force behind some of the network’s greatest successes that helped propel History to become one of entertainment’s top brands.”
Bennett, meanwhile, is a rising star at A+E Networks, having only joined the company in 2013. Since then she has been responsible for the brand refresh at FYI as well as operations at LMN. Her success is undeniable, with both FYI and LMN now ranking as the two fastest growing channels in the A+E portfolio. Prior to joining A+E, she held several key roles at the BBC including Director Of Television in the early 2000s and later President of BBC Worldwide Networks & Global BBC iPlayer.
“I have a passion for History – where we’ve come from and where we are headed,” said Jana Bennett in a statment. “I am thrilled that I have been asked by Nancy and Paul to lead the team that will bring one of the strongest and most respected brands across the globe into new and exciting territory.”
“Jana has one of the strongest track records building and shaping global brands – first at the BBC and now here at A+E Networks”, added Nancy Dubuc, President and CEO of A+E Networks. “She joined our company with the mandate to take our networks into new and exciting places and what she’s done with FYI in such a short amount of time is remarkable. History and H2 will greatly benefit from her creative prowess and steady stewardship.”