Advanced Television

A+E Networks makes exec promotions in Asia

July 17, 2023

Bolstering for continued growth in the Asian marketplace, A+E Networks has promoted Youngsun Soh to Senior Vice President and Managing Director of A+E Korea, and John Flanagan to Senior Vice President and Managing Director of A+E Japan & Southeast Asia.

The announcement was made by Patrick Vien, Group Managing Director, A+E International and Steve MacDonald, President, Global Licensing & International.

Based in Seoul, and reporting to Vien, Soh (pictured) will continue to lead A+E’s business in Korea, which she has led since joining the company in 2017 as General Manager. Soh led A+E Korea’s strong entrance into the region with the launch of History and Lifetime channels. Since then, A+E Korea has established itself as a top producer of unscripted and scripted content in Korea across formats and media.  Top scripted shows such as Backstreet Rookie, Dramaworld, and Woori the Virgin headline content produced by A+E Korea along with the digital hit, Nego King. In 2022, the company also produced the Korean drama series If You Wish Upon Me in collaboration with A+E Studios.

“Youngsun Soh is an exceptional leader at A+E Networks in Korea, driving our growth and success in this dynamic and competitive marketplace,” said Vien. “Her vision and expertise have been instrumental in expanding our presence throughout the region and we are thrilled to see her continue to lead our business in Korea to even greater heights.”

Soh joined A+E Networks from Twitter Korea, where she served as Market Director, responsible for all business development efforts and user growth in the Korean market. She joined Twitter from BBC Worldwide Channels Asia, where she served as Executive Director after working for BBC in London as Multiplatform and Portfolio Executive for Mobile.

Based in Tokyo, and also reporting to Vien, Flanagan will continue to lead the growth of A+E’s business in Japan, which he has championed since joining the company as General Manager. Under his direction he has overseen the growth of its linear channel business, History Japan; launched SVoD/FAST distribution of History Japan, Lifetime and Crime+Investigation; created a burgeoning documentary production unit; and spearheaded a creative and media agency business. 

Under his new role, Flanagan will add oversight of A+E Southeast Asia (SEA). A+E SEA recently shifted its business to an affiliate distribution-focused model to continue to build upon and maximise presence of the company’s content brands across linear and digital distribution including The History Channel, Lifetime and C+I.  In addition to the A+E Japan team, also reporting to Flanagan will be Salawati (Wati) Mohammed, Head of Distribution & Partnership Development, A+E SEA. Pamela Tan, Regional Head of Finance, A+E SEA, will partner with Wati in managing the local team on a day-to-day basis.  

Flanagan joined A+E Networks in 2017 as General Manager for A+E Networks Japan. He joined from Blackhawk Network Japan & Korea, where he served as President and Representative Director, responsible for expanding the company’s footprint and sales at top retailers in the region. Prior to Blackhawk, he held senior management positions in marketing at Amazon, Dyson and Apple in Japan. Flanagan joined Apple from 20thCentury Fox where he was Vice President of Marketing, Japan, following his work as a senior marketing executive at Mediatti Communications in Japan. At Liberty Media, Flanagan was a leader on the launch team of J:COM, Japan’s largest MSO.    

“John Flanagan has been an invaluable member of our team since joining A+E Networks,” said Vien. “His deep understanding of the Japanese and Southeast Asian markets, combined with his expertise in programming and marketing, make him the ideal leader to guide our continued growth in these regions. We are confident that under John’s leadership, A+E will continue to deliver exceptional content and experiences to audiences across Japan and Southeast Asia.”

Additionally, it was announced that Saugato Banerjee, who currently serves as Managing Director of A+E Asia, is leaving the company effective September 30th. MacDonald said: “We are extremely grateful for Shoggy’s entrepreneurial efforts over the years, which helped create so many achievements in our linear businesses in Southeast Asia. He was integral to the launch of our multi-faceted media business in Korea and the re-invention of our business in Japan. His many accomplishments at A+E leave us in great stead to pursue our vision to expand A+E Networks’ footprint even further throughout the region.”

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