Television Business International

A+E hires former Shine, Sony exec for formats push

Formats-logo-460_2HayleyBabcockHeadshotColorA+E has recruited former Fox, Sony and Shine executive Hayley Babcock to spearhead a drive into international formats.

She will be head of formats, international programming and production at A+E.

Babcock is here at MIPTV in her new role and told TBI that A+E’s largely fully-owned catalogue is full of potential formats.

The channel operator and programmer has got selected formats away in the past, but wants to accelerate activity in this area with Babcock on board.

Babcock was senior VP, North America acquisitions, for Endemol Shine International predecessor Shine International, and also has her own consultancy business. Before Shine, she was at Sony Pictures Television as senior VP, strategic creative development. Prior to that she was at Fox TV Studios as senior VP, development, production and programming.

In her new role Babcock will work across several divisions of A+E to source IP from the group that will work as formats. She won’t be selling the shows internationally but will work with sales and marketing to bring A+E properties through as formats.

A+E has secured international versions of its shows including Pawn Stars, and Babcock highlighted series she said had authenticity in their DNA such as prison format 60 Days, or hip hop series The Rap Game, as examples of A&E properties that could be remade around the world.

Babcok noted the formats drive at A+E will ultimately cover scripted as well as unscripted properties, which comes as A+E pushes heavily into drama. It is debuting its big new series Roots here in Cannes tonight and has a growing slate of scripted programming.

The A+E new recruit will report to Amanda Hill, chief creative officer, international, A+E Networks. She told TBI that she had identified an opportunity to do more in the formats space, which led to bringing Babcock on board.

“Adding an executive with Haley’s pedigree is a huge win for the A+E formats team,” said Hill. “Hayley is a savvy business executive with a proven track record in building brands, managing IP and guiding the production of formats around the globe.”

Last year A+E Networks added to its formats team when Naomi Koh joined from Viacom’s Channel 5, as  director, international format sales. At that time, Paul Hardy was promoted internally and became international roving executive producer.