European Pay-TV Network Sky Promotes Zai Bennett to U.K. Content Chief

Leo Barraclough
Variety

European pay-TV operator Sky has promoted Zai Bennett, formerly head of premium drama channel Sky Atlantic in the British Isles, to director of programs for Sky Entertainment U.K. and Ireland.

Among those reporting to Bennett will be Adam MacDonald, head of entertainment channel for Sky 1; Phil Edgar-Jones, Sky Arts chief and non-scripted topper; head of comedy Jon Mountague; and kids’ content chief Lucy Murphy.

Bennett will continue to head Sky Atlantic, whose fall lineup includes “Divorce,” “The Young Pope” and “Westworld,” while scheduler Jamie Morris takes on the new role of channel editor.

Head of drama Anne Mensah and head of acquisitions Sarah Wright will continue to report to managing director of content Gary Davey.

Davey lauded Bennett’s stewardship of Sky Atlantic, and said the exec would now lead the network’s drive to ramp up original programming. “We are ready to take our programming to a whole new level,” Davey said. “The changes will enable us to have a clearer focus for the content plan in the U.K. and Ireland.”

Bennett, who joined Sky in 2014, was formerly controller of youth channel BBC Three. Prior to that, he spent 12 years at ITV, where he was part of the launch team for ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4.

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