Herb Scannell

Former Vice Chair, MTV Networks;

Former President, Nickelodeon

As President of BBC Worldwide, North America, Herb’s responsibilities included the flagship cable channels BBC America and distribution of BBC World News, BBC Worldwide Productions LA, BBC.com, Sales and Distribution, and Home Entertainment and Licensed Consumer Products.  He was also a member of  the BBC Worldwide Executive Board.

Herb built the North American business to over 500mm in revenue and increased profits 40% during his term. Herb has seen BBC America grow its distribution to 80 million (from 67 million) making it to one of the leading independents in the US and additionally quadrupled BBC World News distribution to 30 mm.  BBC Worldwide Productions has undergone a dramatic diversification adding scripted (Starz’ DaVinci’s Demons) as well as unscripted programs (ABC’s hit Dancing with the Stars, and History’s Top Gear) to its production slate in the US.  Digitally, program sales have increased over 400% with pioneering relationships with top SVOD players (Neflix, Hulu, Amazon) and iTunes.

Herb initiated and consummated for BBC Worldwide a deal with AMC Networks to buy half of BBC America, positioning it for growth with increased leverage with cable operators and advertisers, and additive co-production commitments across the AMC stable of networks.  Nine consecutive quarters of ratings growth, the birth of successful made-in America originals such as Orphan Black, and the elevation of perennials like Doctor Who to pop culture buzz worthy status under Herb’s leadership, contributed to AMC  buying into BBC America.

Prior to joining BBC Worldwide in 2010, Herb was CEO of Next New Networks, an innovator in on line video and the antecedent to MCN’s ( Multi-Channel Networks) like Maker and Fullscreen that have reshaped the digital video landscape. At Next New Networks, he identified next generation media makers and made-for-the-internet original shows to advance a strategy of creating and managing a portfolio of super niche channels. Herb saw the company through two rounds of funding, raising investment from blue chips like Spark Capital, Saban Media and Goldman Sachs. The company was sold in 2011 to Google/YouTube.

The majority of his career was at Viacom/MTV Networks culminating in the position of Vice Chairman MTV Networks/President Nickelodeon Networks.  He oversaw all creative and business operations for a portfolio of brands and businesses for MTV Networks including: Nickelodeon, the #1 rated network in cable TV for 10 years running; TV Land, the cable home of classic TV; and Spike TV, the first network for men. Additionally, Herb was responsible for Nickelodeon’s successful feature film division, making it the leader in kids online, and growing the Consumer Products division of Nickelodeon and Viacom, which under his watch grew into the third largest licensing business in the world.

Herb’s businesses contributed over $2.5 billion in revenue to the MTV Networks division of Viacom.  Under Herb, his portfolio of brands, were known for their strong connections and bonds with their audiences while delivering industry leading 50+ percent margins.  During his time, Nickelodeon was one of the three most profitable networks in television and unique in that it cultivated a TV business built on three major revenue streams – advertising, affiliate fees and consumer products.

After becoming President of Nickelodeon in 1996, Herb set a course to double the network’s animation output and built the first new animation studio in Los Angeles in 40 years, creating hits Spongebob Squarepants, Hey Arnold andFairly Odd Parents. Other hits during Herb’s tenure were pre-school favoritesBlues Clues and Dora the Explorer.

Early on, Herb expanded into new businesses and grew Nick’s Consumer Products business from $100 million in retail sales in 1996 to over $4 billion in 2005. He also brought Nickelodeon into the movie business releasing 14 movies grossing over $1 billion dollars and making Nickelodeon one of Paramount’s most profitable producers during this time.  Furthermore, he positioned Nick as the kids online and digital media leader with the 2005 acquisition of NeoPets as well as launching paid downloads and content distribution to phones.

Additionally, Herb just completed his term as Chairman of the Board of NY Public Radio, home of WNYC and WQXR, and remains an active member.  He also serves on the Board of Ballet Hispanico, a leading Hispanic dance and cultural institution based in the city.

He’s a graduate of Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts.  Married to Sarah Reetz, they are parents to two girls and reside in New York City.