Dirk Hoogstra’s time with History is over, with Jana Bennett taking over the general manager post at the US cable channel.
Hoogstra is credited with some of History’s biggest recent hits including scripted miniseries Hatfields & McCoys, but the channel has suffered significant dips over the past two years.
Hoogstra becomes the latest high-ranking executive to leave A+E Networks since Paul Buccieri became president of History and A&E.
Former BBC Worldwide channels chief Bennett replaces Hoogsta, becoming its new GM, and will also hold the president title along with Buccieri, to whom she will report.
She joined A+E in 2013 to oversee the rebranding of Bio to female-skewed FYI, which has since seen double-digit growth, and was also in charge of movie channel LMN. FYI and LMN will now need a new chief, with A+E beginning a search.
“I have long been a fan of Jana’s work, particularly with what she’s done with FYI and LMN,” said Buccieri. “Her vast experience in all genres of programming, marketing, distribution and digital is unparalleled and I’m very much looking forward to working with her at History.”
A+E president and CEO Nancy Dubuc said Bennett had “joined our company with the mandate to take our networks into new and exciting places and what she’s done with FYI in such a short amount of time is remarkable”.
Hoogstra, meanwhile, will return to independent producing. “We thank Dirk for his many contributions to History,” said Buccieri, who joined A+E this January from ITV Studios Global Entertainment. “He was the force behind some of the network’s greatest successes that helped propel History to become one of entertainment’s top brands.”
Hoogstra’s exit comes after that of David McKillop, whose role at the top of A&E was handed to Rob Sharenow. McKillop has since formed Propagate Content with former National Geographic Channels president Howard T. Owens.
Further to that, both A&E and History got new programming bosses soon after Buccieri’s arrival, with Elaine Frontain Bryant and Elaine Frontain Bryant taking on new responsibilities.
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