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Raft of senior Nat Geo staff axed following Fox deal

A raft of senior management from National Geographic’s TV division have been axed including National Geographic Television International (NGTI) president Maurice van Sabben and long-serving VP of acquisitions and coproduction, Edwina Thring, TBIvision has learned.

These two were among about ten senior London-based staff who have either been made redundant or have not had contracts renewed. The executives in question left the company at the end of last year.

Other departures include Darren Poynton who had a dual role, spearheading the National Geographic Ventures International commercial division and finance for NGTI. Head of sales Anna Fuge has also left as has Anthony Kimble, NGTI’s VP, sales and coproduction and Michelle Waldron, NGTI’s VP, marketing and communications.

A spokesperson for National Geographic Channels confirmed that there had been redundancies as part of a consolidation and streamlining operation at the company. That process follows Fox-backed NGCI’s acquisition of the National Geographic Society-owned programme sales unit, NGTI, last September. NGTI has effectively been absorbed into NGCI as a result.

Reflecting the redundancies, the NGTI website now lists just five staff members: regional sales directors Joanna Rowley and Veronique Heim, sales manager Nina Bareta, sales assistant Alex Zlatanova and marketing executive Daniela Harris.

It is understood that Washington-based Germaine Deagan Sweet, NGCI’s VP, global content sales, has been in London to help implement the changes.

There have also been new faces brought in at Nat Geo’s TV operations. The ex-Channel 4 head of documentaries, Hamish Mykura, joined National Geographic Channels as executive VP and head of international content, which was announced in December.