Nine shipping Keir to U.S.

Aussie TV exec checks out American shows

SYDNEY — Kerry Packer’s Nine Network has bolstered its U.S. team by upping Sydney-based communications topper Andrea Keir to prexy of acquisitions and programming in North America.

Based in L.A., Keir will work with Nine veteran L.A.-based consultant Russell Watkins and Sydney-based programmer Michael Healy. Beginning July 1, she will scour U.S. feevee channels for programs and concepts, monitor shows in development and build contacts with sellers. Nine’s most recent open-market acquisition was “Michael Jackson Take 2: The Interview They Wouldn’t Show You.” Its most successful has been “Sex and the City.”

“Andrea understands our schedule very well, an important thing for somebody in another country (scouting) for programs most suitable for our slots,” said Nine deputy CEO David Gyngell, to whom Keir will report.

Nine has output deals with Hallmark, DreamWorks, Warners, CBS, New Regency and Roadshow, and it remains Australia’s market leader despite a yearlong cost-cutting campaign and almost total reconfiguration of the senior exec team.

Keir was Nine’s exec producer on reality skein “Stripsearch,” last year assisted casting of “Australian Survivor” and is a vet of the L.A. Screenings.

To explain her new “president” moniker, fancy by Aussie standards, she joked, “I just wanted people to return my phone calls and be clear it was outside publicity.”

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