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Ancier to run BBC's U.S. unit

February 14, 2007|Meg James | Times Staff Writer

Veteran television executive Garth Ancier, who has run the entertainment divisions of three different networks, recast himself Tuesday as president of BBC Worldwide America.

Ancier has been charged with expanding the reach and ratings of British Broadcasting Corp.'s U.S.-based cable channels including BBC America, adapting the broadcaster's successful shows for U.S. networks and overseeing the growth of its Internet presence in the U.S.

The move came five months after Ancier, 49, wrapped up his last major mission, shuttering the WB television network, which he led for two years. He later took the controls at In2TV, a broadband video venture of AOL that plays old Warner Bros. TV shows.

But the lure of the British proved irresistible.

"This is just a better thing to do, a lot more fun and a lot more challenging," Ancier said in an interview. The BBC has, he said, "some really interesting and vibrant businesses here, and a wealth of incredible content."

Ancier will be based in New York. BBC Worldwide has production offices in Los Angeles, overseeing such shows as ABC's popular "Dancing With the Stars."

Ancier's 27-year career is one of the most varied in the industry. He was an architect of the Fox network in the late 1980s, serving as its first programming president. He helped launched the WB in the mid-1990s before joining NBC in 1999. He then went to Atlanta for Turner Broadcasting.

He returned to the WB in Burbank in 2004, where one of his notable decisions was to kill off its Michigan J. Frog mascot. Now, Ancier will be answering to bosses across the pond.

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