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O’Donoghue joins NBC Universal

Exec to head international production activity

LONDON — U.K. indie producer Denise O’Donoghue will head NBC Universal’s production activities outside the U.S.

The co-founder and former CEO of Hat Trick, famed for hit comedies including “Father Ted” and news satire “Have I Got News for You,” O’Donoghue takes over as prexy of international television productions at NBC U Intl. on Sept. 14. She will report to NBC U Intl. topper Peter Smith and be based in London.

O’Donoghue succeeds Angela Bromstad, who last year returned to Los Angeles as prexy of primetime entertainment at NBC and Universal Media Studios. U.K. shingles are likely to react favorably to the appointment of O’Donoghue, whom many industryites had assumed had retired from the TV biz in 2003 after she sold her stake in Hat Trick for a reported £11.27 million ($18.2 million).

O’Donoghue helped establish a thriving indie sector in the U.K. during the 1980s following the launch of then upstart broadcaster Channel 4.

She will lead TV production and strategic TV content partnerships across all territories outside the U.S.

Additionally, she will be responsible for expanding NBC U’s format licensing: Commercial broadcaster ITV recently ordered a second season of “Law and Order: UK,” produced by Kudos.

NBC U, which owns U.K. shingle Carnival, aims to double non-U.S. revenues to $5 billion within the next two years, mainly through local TV and film production, expanding pay TV channels and growth in key overseas markets, especially Blighty.

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