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A+E Networks UK hires RTL exec for COO post

Nicolas Eglau

Nicolas Eglau

Dean Possenniskie’s first major moves since taking over at A+E Networks UK are the appointment of a COO and the promotion of Heather Jones to senior VP, content and creative.

Possenniskie replaced Tom Davidson as managing director for the A+E Networks business in Europe last month, and has now named RTL Netherlands executive Nicolas Eglau as its first chief operating officer.

Jones, meanwhile, now adds the new SVP post to her roles after being promoted to general manager of the UK in February. She now oversees all creative A+E UK units, including programming, marketing, creative, digital and communications.

Both executives report into Possenniskie, who now has his own hand-picked, top-level management team.

Eglau is credited with building RTL Netherlands’ cable TV business, managing channels such as RTL Lounge, RTL Crime and RTL Tekekids, and also oversaw a number of digital start-up ventures. He was most recently RTL Netherlands’ MD, ventures, and has spent five years as a member of its management board.

Beginning at A+E on September 1, he will manage the A+E UK operating and commercial units, including strategy, sales and distribution in the UK and other territories. He will also be general manager of the Nordic, Benelux and CEEMEA regions, overseeing offices in Copenhagen, Warsaw and Johannesburg.

Before RTL Netherlands, he was a VP at the wider RTL Group, during which time he worked on M&A initiatives and was seconded to London to oversee the acquisition of Channel 5 from business-to-business news publisher UBM back in 2005.

He said there were “growth opportunities” in the UK and other operating territories at A+E, which has been consolidating its international joint ventures businesses over the past 12 months. A+E UK remains a joint venture between Disney- and Hearst Corp.-owned A+E and European satcaster Sky.

Heather Jones

Heather Jones

Jones  meanwhile has been with A+E UK for two years after a spell at All3Media-owned producer North One Television. She was also director of television at Viacom UK.

The two appointments come after the hires of BBC Worldwide’s Amanda Hill as chief creative officer, international, and former Discovery and TLC executive Edward Sagin as MD, Americas and head of commercial operations, international.

“The A+E Networks UK brand portfolio has seen rapid expansion over the past 5 years, both within and outside the UK,” said Posseniskie. “As we continue to drive growth of our brands and business, we looked for strong leaders to develop and execute strategy.”

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