History Channel has a new chief--Nancy Dubuc. Dubuc, currently senior VP, non-fiction programming and new media for History's parent company A&E Television Networks, replaces current History President Dan Davids, an AETN veteran since 1984. Dubuc will take up the post of Executive VP/GM for History starting Jan. 1, reporting to AETN President/CEO Abbe Raven.
Dubuc joined AETN as a development executive at History about five years ago after stints at PBS in Boston and Discover magazine. She moved to sister channel A&E when Raven, then head of History, switched jobs with Davids who was head of A&E. Dubuc went on to oversee development of A&E's successful reality series, including Dog the Bounty Hunter and Criss Angel: Mindfreak as senior VP of programming for the channel, and in June added oversight of History Channel development to her duties.
As an AETN loyalist, Dubuc made for the right candidate for the job, Raven told B&C, citing Dubuc's company knowledge, creative instincts, relationships with the creative community and business acumen. Raven said Dubuc's first order of business will be to continue branching out the channel onto multiple platforms.
Although the programming she has overseen at A&E has helped drive down the channel's median age significantly, don't expect the same edgier fare at History, whose target audience skews much older.
"One of the driving principles we've had is to make the History Channel brand into the definitive source of history across multiple platforms," she said. "Nancy understands the quality and the brand equity we have and she will continue that tradition."
Staffers were informed this morning of Dubuc's appointment and Davids' departure. Davids had been president of History since 2004, after being upped from EVP/GM of the channel. His leaving, which Raven said was voluntary, follows that of fellow AETN veteran Tom Heymann, who the company announced earlier this month will leave as Senior VP/GM of The Biography Channel at the end of the year.
"Dan has had 22 successful years with us and we will miss him very much," Raven said. "He has been a terrific partner and played a vital role in the success of the History Channel as well as AETN."
History averaged 1.06 million total viewers in prime year to date, down 4% from last year and 514,000 viewers in its target 25-54 demo, right on par with last year.