Bird flies TW coop

Int'l TV vet ankles U.K. post for new pursuits

LONDON — Andy Bird, Time Warner’s most senior TV exec in London, is quitting Oct. 17 after nine years.

Bird, one of the pioneers of U.K. multi-channel TV, told colleagues he is standing down as president of Turner Broadcasting Systems Intl. to seek new opportunities and spend more time with his family.

It is understood that Louise Sams, executive VP and general counsel, will be upped to prexy.

Bird played a key role in building Turner’s international channel business in Asia, Europe and Latin America.

“He was ready for a change and greater responsibility,” a Turner spokesman said. “Regrettably, no such position for someone of his experience and interests is available in our company.

“Andy’s decision to leave is one that he has taken at a personal level. It was his decision, not a company decision.”

The spokesman added: “Andy has done a fabulous job for us and his energy, commitment and creativity have helped put us on the map. We are sad that he has chosen to move on.”

Production roots

Bird began his career in U.K. cable TV as a producer and subsequently head of news for Music Box, the Virgin-owned music station.

He later worked as an indie, heading up Unique Television before joining Turner as senior VP, Cartoon Network/TNT in 1994 before becoming executive VP, Turner Entertainment Networks, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, three years later.

In 1999 he was appointed president, Entertainment Networks, Europe, Africa and Middle East.

His next job is unlikely to be with a mainstream web. He once said: “I’ve always been more interested in new things and where the industry is going. I’ve never been that excited by terrestrial television per se, particularly in the U.K.”

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