Jana Bennett, President of Worldwide Networks and the Global BBC iPlayer, has decided to leave BBC Worldwide in late autumn following implementation of a major reorganisation of the company, as BBC Worldwide reconfigures the business from divisional to geographic lines. As a result, P&L ownership will move from the existing global divisions to a number of market and country-facing business units. Bennett said that with the move of P&L responsibility under the new structure, she felt this was a good moment to work outside BBC Worldwide.
Since becoming President of Worldwide Networks, Bennett had overseen the channels business, which is the biggest revenue generator for BBC Worldwide and will report further strong growth for the year just ended. She has overseen the introduction of 13 channel services, from New Zealand to Thailand, as well as the launch of channels into new markets for the first time, including Brazil and Taiwan. She has pioneered global programming events across BBC Worldwide’s own channels, with broadcasts such as the Royal Wedding, Sport Relief, as well as the London Calling season (timed to coincide with Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics), playing out across four continents simultaneously.
Bennett is responsible for BBC Worldwide’s 33 owned and operated thematic channels across 100 countries in EMEA, Australasia, Asia and Latin America. Jana is also responsible for the Global BBC iPlayer which launched as a pilot in July 2011 and is now in 16 countries. She also has financial responsibility for BBC Worldwide’s 50 per cent interest in UKTV, the owner of 10 branded channels in the UK; and executive responsibility for BBC Worldwide’s business development strategy across all its business in Latin America.
Bennett will remain with BBC Worldwide until late autumn, in order to effect a full handover of her responsibilities and to complete a number of major commercial deals that John Smith, BBC Worldwide CEO, has asked her to oversee. She said she looked forward to bringing her experience to another area of international media.