Los Angeles, Calif. – June 12, 2013 – In a move recognizing his key role in building the organization, Ward Platt has been named Chief Operating Officer of FOX International Channels (FIC) and Chief Executive Officer of the unit's National Geographic Channels International (NGCI). Making the announcement was Hernan Lopez, President and CEO of FIC to whom Mr. Platt will continue to report.
Mr. Platt, who previously served as President, Asia Pacific and the Middle East for FIC will relocate to Los Angeles and will work across areas in the execution of FIC's continuing growth plans around the world. Additionally, as CEO for NGCI, he will oversee international programming, marketing, operations, syndication and finance for the National Geographic Channels outside of the US. Currently, National Geographic Channel and its multiple brand extensions are seen in 171 countries.
"I have been fortunate to work with Ward for the past 11 years," said Mr. Lopez. "He has built our business in Asia from the ground up, turning it into a model in the region. I am delighted to have him step up to this new and expanded role."
Prior to taking on this new role Mr. Platt oversaw 18 FIC offices throughout Asia Pacific and the Middle East from his base in Hong Kong. He and his team were responsible for all aspects of running 129 FOX-branded and operated channels, including programming, local productions, on-air promotion, marketing, advertising sales, affiliate sales/distribution, legal and business affairs, and finance. Most recently, Mr. Platt led the integration of FOX Sports Asia (formerly ESS) into FIC, as well as the launch of FOX Sports Japan, the largest entry by a non-Japanese brand into the local sports TV market.
"It's been a privilege to be part of a team of amazing people that have built FIC Asia into what it is today," said Mr. Platt. "FIC as a company is incredibly dynamic with a 'can do' culture and I am grateful for this opportunity to continue working alongside my colleagues to help Hernan take the FOX International Channels and National Geographic Channels International businesses to new heights."
Mr. Platt joined FIC in 1999 to spearhead the development of National Geographic Channel in Asia Pacific and the Middle East as Group Managing Director. Under his stewardship, FIC grew to over 550m cumulative households in the region.
Previously, Mr. Platt was the Senior Vice President of Distribution and Business Development for STAR Group, where he pursued channel and distribution development opportunities for the company throughout Asia. Before that, he worked for five years with Continental Cablevision and its affiliates in both Singapore and Boston.
Zubin Gandevia, who currently serves as COO of FOX International Channels Asia based in Hong Kong has been promoted to President of FOX International Channels Asia, and will continue to report to Mr. Platt. His remit will span 18 offices across Asia Pacific and the Middle East.
"Zubin and I have had a great ride over the past 13 years working together to build the FIC Asia business along with a whole lot of help from many talented team members across our business," said Mr. Platt. "I am truly delighted to be handing over the reins to Zubin and know he will do an outstanding job in his new role."
"I've had the privilege of working with Ward for 13 years and his leadership has been integral to the success in this region," said Mr. Gandevia. "FIC Asia continues to grow at an unprecedented pace and I can't think of a more fun and exciting business to be part of. I look forward to continuing Ward's success and taking our business in this part of the world to the next level."
Mr. Gandevia has more than 20 years of experience in the Asian broadcast industry. Prior to taking on his new role, as COO Mr. Gandevia was the business head for Asia Pacific and the Middle East and was responsible for developing the industry-leading channel brands under FIC. In addition he oversaw FIC's rapidly growing businesses in China, Taiwan, India and Southeast Asia, as well as Hong Kong's regional business operations.
Previously, he served as Managing Director and Executive Vice President of National Geographic Channel Asia. He joined the network as Managing Director for India in January 2000, growing National Geographic Channel into a leader in factual entertainment in South Asia.
A successful entrepreneur, Mr. Gandevia established India's pioneering Cable TV Network in 1986 and was a founding partner of United Cable Network (UCN) in 1993. He moved to STAR India in 1996 as Director of Cable Affairs.
ABOUT FOX INTERNATIONAL CHANNELS
FOX International Channels (FIC) is News Corporation's international multi-media business. We develop, produce and distribute 300+ wholly- and majority-owned entertainment, factual, sports, movie and lifestyle channels across Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa, in 48 languages. These networks and their related mobile, non-linear and high-definition extensions, reach over 1.6 billion cumulative households worldwide.
FIC is dedicated to delivering high quality US content to its global viewers. We acquire, develop, produce and co-produce scripted and non-scripted programming for our linear and digital platforms including David Goyer's Da Vinci's Demons, The Bridge and the Golden Globes nominated hit series The Walking Dead. In the past five years FIC pioneered a global release strategy and is the first and only international TV company to release TV series in 120 countries at the same time as the US. In addition FIC owns and operates two production studios that produce hundreds of local programming hours for its wholly owned channels and third parties.
ABOUT NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNELS INTERNATIONAL
National Geographic Channels International (NGCI) inspires viewers through its smart, innovative programming that questions what we know, how we view the world and what drives us forward. A business enterprise owned by National Geographic Ventures and FOX Entertainment Group, NGCI contributes to the National Geographic Society's commitment to exploration, conservation and education through its six channels: National Geographic Channel, National Geographic Channel HD, Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo Wild HD, Nat Geo Adventure and Nat Geo Music.
Globally, National Geographic Channel (including NGC U.S., which is a joint venture of NGV and Fox Cable Networks Group) is available in more than 440 million homes in 171 countries and 48 languages. For more information, please visit www.natgeotv.com.