The recently appointed head of BBC America is shaking up his empire.

President/ceo Bill Hilary has taken the cable and satellite network by the scruff of the neck, as promised three months ago [WAMN: 6-Oct-2004].

He has recruited general manger Kathryn Mitchell, is re-locating headquarters from Maryland to New York and promises new and original programming.

Mitchell is former vp for programming at US channel Comedy Central where Hilary was once general manager.

The duo are planning to broadcast original scripted comedies and dramas alongside imports such as Coupling, Cold Feet, The Kumars at No 42and The Office. Hilary wants to increase program making cooperation with the BBC in the UK and with British commercial broadcasters ITV and Channel 4.

He says: "BBC America is a fantastic brand with fantastic shows and tremendous critical buzz. What I intend to do is take the channel to the next level by turning it into a creative force in the US and a great business."

Data sourced from AdAge (USA); additional content by WARC staff