Bill Hilary is BBC America president and CEO

MUMBAI: Bill Hilary has been appointed as BBC America president and CEO.

Hilary was formerly Comedy Central's executive VP and GM. In his new position will be responsible for the development and operations of BBC America, including and BBC America On Demand, and for any other digital channels and services associated with the future growth of the brand.

BBC television channels director Jana Bennett added, "Bill's leadership at Comedy Central has seen the channel garner both ratings and awards. Bill knows what makes both Americans and the British laugh. His understanding of the American audience and British talent, together with his knowledge of the BBC and British programmes, makes him uniquely qualified to head BBC America - recently described as the hottest network on TV."

The new appointment represents a homecoming for Hilary. He had earlier joined the BBC in 1998 as the head of independent entertainment and comedy commissioning. the following year he was promoted to Head of Independent Commissioning in 1999, overseeing not only the BBC's entertainment and comedy commissioning but also its drama and factual sections

Hilary said: "I am incredibly proud of the accomplishments of my team at Comedy Central - creating hit shows, driving ratings, and taking the brand to new heights. I am now thrilled to have the opportunity to drive BBC America to the next level.

"The channel has already established itself as a strong platform and is poised to enter the next phase of its development. With continued investment, new talent, great creative ideas and the energy of the BBC brand the future is very exciting."

At Comedy Central Hilary oversaw the channel's programming, marketing, and on-line functions, which includes scheduling, development, production, acquisitions and advertising, on-air/off-air creative, research and international sales. During Hilary's four and half year stint at Comedy Central the channel saw consistent ratings and revenue growth, both up 24 per cent this year.

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