History president Jana Bennett is leaving A+E Networks to return to the U.K. and a new entrepreneurial venture, the company said.
Bennett joined A+E Networks four years ago to launch the FYI Network.
With her departure, History, including head of programming Paul Cabana, will report directly to Paul Buccieri, president of A+E Networks and A+E Studios.
In an internal memo, A+E CEO Nancy Dubuc said that “over the last two years at HISTORY, Jana has built a strong lineup of historical documentary series and boosted its scripted slate, successfully launching Roots and Six. She has helped build a powerful pipeline of other new series, and with the very promising Knightfall coming later this year, is making HISTORY the destination for historically based drama.”
The following is a note from Bennett:
When I came to the U.S. to launch FYI and run LMN, I had no idea I would end up staying on to lead HISTORY. I’m very thankful to Nancy for giving me such amazing brands to run and I am hugely proud of what the talented teams at all three channels have achieved.
Now that HISTORY is back to growth, it’s time for me to start my next chapter. This was a difficult decision and Nancy was incredibly understanding about my desire to spend some of my time in the UK. Having been lucky enough to have worked in media on both sides of the Atlantic, I’ll be leaving later this summer to set up my new venture based here and in London.
I am confident that HISTORY will go from strength to strength and will continue to tell stories that America and the rest of the world loves.
I will miss the many creative and talented people I’ve worked with inside A+E, as well as our fantastic partners in production and the many institutions that work with HISTORY. Thank you to everyone for making me feel so at home. I will remain a proud Brooklynite wherever I am based, but unfortunately, despite everyone’s best efforts in the A+E office, I STILL leave with a minimal understanding of U.S. sports!