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BSkyB Topper Sophie Turner Laing to Step Down

LONDON — Sophie Turner Laing, managing director, content, at Rupert Murdoch’s U.K. satcaster BSkyB, is to step down later this year.

Turner Laing has been at Sky for 11 years, during which time she has helped drive the creative and commercial development of Sky’s content business.

She led the expansion of its portfolio of entertainment channels, with the launch of Sky Atlantic, Sky Living and Sky Arts, and added to the breadth and quality of its programs, such as through its partnership with HBO and its increased commitment to original British production, which stands at £600 million ($1.01 billion) a year.

It is thought that she may segue into a producing role.

In an email to colleagues on Friday, she said: “I have worked consistently since I was 18 and thought, at the grand old age of 53, that I better get my act together if I want to get some of my passion projects off the ground — less talking, more making them happen.

“I will stay in the creative world — hopefully closely connected to Sky — and am also keen to continue supporting and championing the diversity agenda.”

Jeremy Darroch, Sky’s chief exec, said that Turner Laing would continue to work with Sky in some capacity. “I am pleased that she will continue to have a close relationship with Sky in the future,” he said.

Turner Laing has been responsible for Sky’s portfolio of entertainment, movie and news channels as well as its studios and production services. She also leads Sky’s relationships with joint venture and partner channels, and oversees the international distribution of channels and programs.

She joined Sky in 2003 from the BBC, where she held a number of senior roles, including acting director of television. She began her television career at Henson Intl. Television, setting up HIT Entertainment with Peter Orton in 1989 and later moving to Flextech.

She is a non-executive director of retail chain Debenhams, VP, television, for BAFTA, and a trustee of The Media Trust and the National Film & TV School.

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