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BBC taps Turner Laing

She's acquired programs chief

LONDON — Sophie Turner Laing has been appointed head of acquired programs for BBC Television, reporting to Alan Howden, the pubcaster’s long-serving controller of program acquisition.

Turner Laing previously was VP of broadcasting at Flextech Television, and was a member of the team that negotiated the U.K. TV joint venture between Flextech and the BBC.

Before that she was deputy managing director of Hit Entertainment, the TV distributor she helped found in 1989 through a management buyout of Henson Intl. TV.

She has been hired by the BBC to replace June Droomgoole, who this week moved to Channel 4 as controller of program acquisitions. “This role allows me to use my expertise in distribution and programming and I look forward to perfecting the art of poacher turned gamekeeper,” Turner Laing said.

“Sophie is a terrific booking for the BBC,” commented Alan Yentob, the BBC’s director of television. “She brings invaluable experience at a senior level with our partners at Flextech and with other key players in the industry.”

Howden added, “I am delighted that, with Sophie’s appointment, we now have a team in place that will secure the long-term management of the acquisition activities in BBC Broadcast.”

“This is genuinely a case of the BBC’s gain being our loss,” commented Flextech managing director Brent Harman.

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