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BBC USA names four VPs

Appointments mark expansion for network arm

BBC Worldwide Prods. USA is beefing up its exec ranks, tapping four VPs to handle its rapidly expanding production roster.

Appointments mark a significant expansion for the North Hollywood-based Beeb arm behind “Dancing With the Stars” and “Grease: You’re the One That I Want.” In addition to unscripted fare, company has scored three pilots for scripted primetime programming, with projects set up at ABC, CBS and NBC.

Paul Telegdy, senior VP of programming and production, said the hires speak to the company’s long-term growth plans.

“It’s a massive statement of intent as to where we want our business to be in five years,” he told Daily Variety. “We’ve expanded very quickly in the new year to deal with the coming development season. It’s been a bell curve in terms of size and scale.”

Among the new execs:

  •  Linda Giambrone will serve as VP of production, overseeing production of reality skeins and quizzers both in the pilot and series stage. She’s worked for the company on a freelance basis since 2005, playing a key role in the production of “Dancing.”

  •  John Hesling has been named VP, creative affairs. He’ll develop creative opportunities from both the BBC and outside the company.

  •  Ian Moffitt is in place as VP of programming and content strategy, a gig that will have him managing business development and strategy across BBC Worldwide Prods. He most recently had been running Transcend, the now-defunct international rights joint venture between Endeavor and IMG.

  •  Alice Taylor is set as VP for digital content. She’ll focus on expanding the company’s Internet, mobile and gaming initiatives.

All the VPs will report to Telegdy, who noted that all but one of the new hires (Giambrone) is British.

“It’s an important defining feature of our brand that we’re bringing ideas from across the Pond,” he said.

He also said that the company’s solid success setting up scripted skeins this season won’t change the unit’s aims.

“Our focus will remain on the unscripted side,” he said. “We know that process and can get shows up and running and making money in a short amount of time.”

Telegdy finalized his appointments prior to last week’s news that veteran U.S. TV programmer Garth Ancier was joining BBC Worldwide Americas as prexy and CEO. He said the hires were necessary given his division’s rapid expansion.

“I was pulling 100 hours a week every week,” he said. “That’s not sensible.”

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