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Turner & Viacom execs to run Sony UK channels

Two well known British executives will run the Sony Pictures Television Networks (SPTN) portfolio of channels in the UK.

Sarah MullerSPTN has named Turner’s Steve Hornsey as VP of its UK entertainment portfolio, while Sarah Muller (pictured), who runs children’s programming at Viacom-owned Channel 5, will become VP of the kids and youth portfolio.

Hornsey will oversee the entertainment channel portfolio which consists of seven channels, including film services Sony Movies Channel and Movies4Men.

Hornsey is currently director of general entertainment for the UK and Northern Europe at Turner, where he has been responsible for programming Turner’s pay, free-to-air and SVOD entertainment services including TNT, TruTV and TCM.

Muller will take responsibility for leading the programming and development of SPTN’s linear and ad-supported VOD kids’ brands including Pop, Tiny Pop, Pop Max, and recently launched AVOD service Pop Fun, alongside SPTN’s music channel portfolio.

Prior to joining Turner, Hornsey was general manager at UKTV, overseeing Watch and Alibi. He will take up his new role at SPTN in April.

Muller move from Channel 5 is something of a surprise, with the exec having only joined the network to lead its preschool Milkshake brand in September 2016. She oversaw a channel rebranding last year.

Prior to that, she had a ten-year spell at the BBC, moving from CBBC head of acquisitions to creative director, where she developed programmes including Danger Mouse, Strange Hill High, Harriet’s Army, Wolfblood, The Dumping Ground and Just William.

She joins SPTN in March, overseeing the networks SPTN gained when it acquired UK-based channels group CSC Media in 2014.

Both Hornsey and Muller will report directly to Kate Marsh, SPTN’s executive VP of international networks in Western Europe, and will also become part of Marsh’s regional senior management team.

Marsh said: “Sarah has a wealth of experience in children’s and youth programming and I have no doubt she will lead our talented and passionate team to new successes.

“Steve’s scripted planning and brand management expertise will help us cement our position as a leading free-to-air entertainment broadcaster as we continue to grow and expand our services across the UK and the region.”