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A+E Networks makes pair of EMEA hires

A+E Networks has made two senior European appointments, hiring Nickelodeon UK exec Kiaran Saunders as VP of EMEA and former Sony Pictures Television exec Jon Wildman as VP of ad sales, EMEA.

Kiaran SaundersSaunders (left), who was VP and commercial director at Nick UK, will be responsible for A+E Networks’ branded channel and digital distribution across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well steering the firm’s overall growth strategy in this region.

By moving to A+E, he is jumping from one BSkyB joint venture to another. UK satcaster Sky operates 50-50 channel businesses with both A+E International and Viacom-owned Nickelodeon.

Wildman, who formerly managed Sony Pictures Television’s EMEA ad sales business, will be tasked with overseeing and expanding A+E Networks’ ad sales operations across EMEA, working closely with sales representatives and channel partners. He left Sony in March after almost three years at the company.

Both new recruits will be based in London and report to A+E Network’s managing director of EMEA, Dean Possenniskie. Saunders starts on September 1, while Wildman joins immediately.

“A+E Networks reached a number of important milestones in EMEA last year, and these appointments reflect plans for our next phase of growth,” said Possenniskie.

“One of our primary goals is to have a portfolio of three to six channels in every territory. Kiaran’s commercial background is well-suited to ensuring we achieve this throughout EMEA.”

Prior to working at Nickelodeon, Saunders held senior corporate development and finance roles at Channel 4 and RSM Robson Rhodes. Wildman’s work background includes senior ad sales positions at Sky Media and Discovery.

The hires come as A+E Networks continues its European growth efforts. Last year the firm launched its first European-based wholly owned operation in Italy, launched Lifetime and H2 in the UK, A&E and CI in France, and History in Russia.