SESSION: Take It From The Top: 10 Questions For The Cable Bosses
As president and general manager, Sarah Barnett is responsible for the day-to-day operations of SundanceTV, directing all efforts as they relate to program development and production, creative strategy, scheduling and marketing, both on- and off-channel. She was named to this post in February 2013.
Barnett is redefining this marquee brand as a timely and vital channel on the TV landscape with authentic and distinctive shows that are both smart and entertaining. Under her leadership, SundanceTV has evolved and has been reenergized into a dynamic, multi-platform brand that engages affluent audiences with acclaimed original content. Barnett launched SundanceTV’s scripted strategy, kicking it off with the mini-series Carlos,winner of the Channel’s first Golden Globe® Award, Appropriate Adult,which earned Emily Watson Golden Globe and SAG nominations and most recently the acclaimed Restless,which earned Charlotte Rampling a SAG nomination. The Channel’s upcoming scripted programs include the mini-series Top of the Lake, directed and co-written by Oscar® winner Jane Campion (The Piano), and Rectify, a scripted series created by Ray McKinnon, and from the producers of AMC’s Breaking Bad. In spearheading the network’s increased focus on unscripted original programming, she executive produced two seasons of the Peabody Award winning and Emmy nominated Brick City and launched the critically acclaimed series Push Girls, All on the Line with Joe Zee, The Mortified Sessions and the social media phenomenon Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys.
Barnett previously served as executive vice president and general manager since 2009. Prior to this role, Barnett was vice president of marketing for SundanceTV and oversaw all strategic and creative marketing for the brand. Her responsibilities included oversight of consumer and trade marketing, as well as advertising for SundanceTV and SundanceTV.com. Barnett led all creative campaigns and branding development and execution for the network, including strategic partnerships and all channel creative expressions. She also spearheaded SundanceTV’s pioneering branded entertainment short-form series and sponsorship creative executions.
Barnett joined SundanceTV from BBC America where she served as vice president of on-air. During her four year tenure, Barnett reported into the President and led BBC America’s award-winning creative team, launching a successful brand refresh, packaging their VOD brand and developing all strategy and execution for the network’s show packaging and branded blocks. She also executive produced several original shows for BBC America.
Before BBC America, Barnett spent 12 years with the BBC in London, where she directed and produced for both BBC radio and television across several BBC channels, including the flagship broadcast networks as well as working on the first ever BBC digital cable network.
Barnett earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in history of art from the University of Warwick in West Midlands, United Kingdom. She was named to CableFAX’s Most Powerful Women in Cable and CableFAX 100 lists in 2010, 2011 and 2012. She was named a woman to watch by Multichannel News in 2012.