His name was in the mix for the job for months, but I’ve just learned that veteran MTV Networks and Nickelodeon exec Herb Scannell is in final negotiations for the gig. The presidency of BBC Worldwide America has been vacant since March 31st when veteran TV exec Garth Ancier officially exited after 3 years. The search for his replacement began last November. As Deadline has previously reported, the dysfunction atop the BBC parent company (leadership problems, content policing, funding woes, all underscored by the ideology of the previous Labor government and soon the newly elected Conservative government) is why so many other top executives, like Peter Liguori and Andrea Wong, have passed on the job. Not Scannell, who’s been eying a return to the TV executive ranks. The MTV Networks veteran served as vice chairman at the company before resigning in 2006. As Nickelodeon president, he helped usher in such hits as SpongeBob SquarePants, Rugrats, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, and Dora the Explorer. Most recently, Scannell launched the online video company Next New Networks.
As president of BBC Worldwide America, Scannell will be is responsible for developing the BBC brand in the USA, on behalf of BBC Worldwide. This includes overseeing flagship cable channel BBC America, now in 64 million homes; and working with U.S. networks on behalf of LA-based BBC Worldwide Productions, to produce further shows and formats, following the huge success of Dancing With The Stars, one of the highest-rated shows on American television. He’ll also manage BBC Worldwide’s U.S. TV and video sales business and, in the digital space, oversee BBC.com and content deals with third party digital platforms such as iTunes and YouTube.