BBC Studios promotes for global distribution role

Paul Dempsey

BBC Studios is bringing its international sales and distribution business into a single global group with long-serving exec Paul Dempsey overseeing the newly created division.

Dempsey, who has been with the BBC since 1998, will become president of global distribution and is to relocate to New York, with responsibility for BBCS’ overall sales and distribution strategy, key customer management and the company’s international channels and services.

Nigel Gaines, who is in interim charge of the Americas after Ann Sarnoff left BBCS to join Warner Bros last month, will report into Dempsey, as will Jon Penn, managing director of Australia & New Zealand.

Nick Percy, exec VP of Western Europe, and Grant Welland, exec VP of CEMA (Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa), will also report into Dempsey, as will Myleeta Aga, who is interim charge of Asia.

Former exec VP of Asia, David Weiland, stepped down last month and returned to the UK to take on a new globally-facing role focused on the company’s working culture.

Dempsey will assume overall accountability for the strategy for the expanded operation, with each regional lead having accountability for their respective regions.

BBCS CEO, Tim Davie, said: “Bringing together our international regions, while maintaining a strong regional focus, continues the evolution of our global distribution business and particularly the way we serve major customers. We are fortunate to have someone of Paul’s immense experience to take this important role.”

Dempsey added that “having visibility across all our customer relationships and international distribution activity will make us more joined up and effective both globally and regionally.”

The long-standing BBCS exec was most recently president of global markets, responsible for content and format sales of shows including motoring series Top Gear and dramas such as MotherFatherSon across Europe, Asia, Middle East and Africa.

He also led the strategy and delivery of content sales across the wider BBCS operation, including hosting the company’s activities at major sales markets such as Showcase and Mipcom.

Dempsey was previously interim CEO of BBCS (fka BBC Worldwide) before current CEO Tim Davie took up the position in 2013, and has also been managing director of the company’s consumer products division.

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