BBC Worldwide America's President Likes YouTube

Garth Ancier's Charge to Expand the U.K. Brand in the U.S.

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NEW YORK ( -- BBC Worldwide Americas last month snagged longtime TV exec Garth Ancier, the former WB chairman and NBC entertainment president, for its newly created position of president-U.S. operations. Most recently, Mr. Ancier had served as head of In2TV, the AOL broadband-TV network he ran out of Warner Bros.' Los Angeles offices. That experience factored in to one of the company's first major moves since he arrived at BBC Worldwide -- creating its own dedicated channels on YouTube.
Garth Ancier
Garth Ancier

The partnership is one the BBC's London-based execs thinks will be perfect to help expand awareness and interaction with their entertainment and news coverage across the pond. "YouTube is a platform that's very interesting and exciting for us," said David Moody, managing director-digital media and director of strategy and business development, BBC Worldwide. "It gives us an opportunity to showcase the full breadth of the BBC content factory and all those things in a way people can consume it. It's also an opportunity to reach a huge community we wouldn't reach otherwise."

Mr. Ancier recently took time to talk to MediaWorks about his new position and plans for the BBC, as well as his lack of replacement at AOL.

MediaWorks: So you're three weeks in to the new gig at BBC Worldwide Americas. How do you like it so far?

Garth Ancier: I'm having a great time with it. It's a really exciting new world of content. The tough part is making sure Americans really understand the BBC brand and how much content they can access.

MediaWorks: What was it about the BBC that appealed to you and makes this YouTube partnership such a no-brainer?

Mr. Ancier: They do such an amazing job with BBC News that is one of the top 100 websites with virtually no promotion. And you'll start to see an enlarged presence of BBC World on BBC America on corresponding sites as well.

MediaWorks: Speaking of TV on the web, who's taking over for you at In2TV over at AOL?

Mr. Ancier: I put a call into the Warner Bros. people yesterday, actually, and I still don't know.

MediaWorks: Given your programming track record at the WB, NBC and CNN, might we see some changes on the entertainment side from you?

Mr. Ancier: We'll have to save that for another conversation. But I'm sitting here looking at the BBC and worldwide channels and on the very first day of their YouTube channels and I'm very excited to see how [the brand] grows.

MediaWorks: How important do you think it is for networks to partner with sites like YouTube to take proprietary ownership of their content?

Mr. Ancier: My personal point of view is any time you can have those three iconic block letters on any product, that is incredibly important to re-energize the brand. BBC is such a well-known brand around the world, and I'd love to have it become more iconic like the CBS Eye.
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