As President, BBC Worldwide North America, Ann Sarnoff is responsible for driving growth and profit across the company’s diversified business divisions in the U.S. and Canada. She oversees BBC Worldwide Productions, Adjacent Productions, linear and digital program sales and co-productions, home entertainment, licensing, live events, film and BBC.com. She also leads efforts to amplify BBC Worldwide’s global brands Top Gear, Doctor Who, and the natural history brand BBC Earth.
In her previous role as COO, BBC Worldwide North America, Sarnoff was responsible for most major revenue streams for the company and led cross-business franchise development for global brands, resulting in significant revenue gains. Sarnoff oversaw negotiations around major MVPD deals for BBC AMERICA leading to an increase in distribution from 68m subscribers to 80m; grew digital program sales to where they now exceed linear program sales; built sales of Doctor Who merchandise to over $100m at retail; spearheaded the BBC.com features section strategy; and launched the first-ever conference for BBC.com ‘BBC Future: World-Changing Ideas Summit.’
Prior to joining BBC Worldwide, Sarnoff was President of Dow Jones Ventures and Senior Vice President of Strategy. In this role, she was responsible for leveraging the assets of Dow Jones to create new businesses focusing on digital and B-to-C markets, and for overseeing corporate strategy and business development. Sarnoff created The Wall Street Journal executive conference business, launching a number of new conference franchises including The Wall Street Journal CEO Council, a prestigious gathering of 100+ top CEOs from around the globe, ECO:nomics, the leading conference for executives in the clean-tech space, and Viewpoints West, an executive breakfast series based in Silicon Valley; and oversaw the D: All Things Digital conference.
From 1993-2003, Sarnoff worked with some of the best-known brands in television at Viacom. As Nickelodeon’s Executive Vice President for Consumer Products and Business Development, she built Nickelodeon consumer products into a multi-billion dollar revenue business at retail. In this role, Sarnoff developed Rugrats and Blue’s Clues into successful off-air franchises by launching them into toys, apparel, publishing, home video, video games, live events and themed attractions. She also led the teams that developed new cable channels TV Land and Noggin. Subsequently, she became COO for VH1 and CMT where, in addition to strategic planning and business operations, she oversaw the company’s websites, radio, audio and video products, and launched the channel VH1 Classic.
Sarnoff holds a BS from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She sits on the board of HSN, Inc., a $3B interactive multi-channel retailer. Sarnoff is the vice president of The Women’s Forum of New York and the vice-chair of the advisory board of the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown. She also serves on the board of the Harvard Business School Women’s Association of New York, the advisory board of British American Business, and the Digital Task Force for New York Public Radio. For the past five years, Sarnoff has been named one of the Most Powerful Women in Cable by CableFAX Magazine. She has two children, and lives in New York City with her husband.