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Ackerman Tapped As Documentary Channel Chairman

Documentary Channel has named industry veteran James Ackerman chairman of the board.

In this post, Ackerman, the one-time CEO of OpenTV Corp., will be involved in the development of the network’s overall strategic and financial direction, as well as its distribution initiatives.

Ackerman brings more than 20 years of experience leading worldwide advanced media companies to the service and will work alongside Documentary Channel founder and CEO Tom Neff.

“James’ vast experience leading a number of successful international media companies, as well as his in-depth knowledge launching innovative entertainment services and technologies, will be a great asset to our growing company,” said Neff in a statement..  “We are excited to have an executive who possesses such tremendous talent and complementary skills join our team.”

In February 2005, Ackerman founded Spinnaker Media LLC to develop innovative entertainment, educational and digital media companies. In addition to Documentary Channel, Spinnaker’s holdings include Propeller Consulting, InternetSafety.Com and Famplosion!.  

The year after, Ackerman served as the interim chairman of ClickStar, the company founded by Intel Corp. and Morgan Freeman’s Revelations Entertainment

From 2000 to 2004, Ackerman served as CEO of OpenTV Corp., where he led the company through a transition from a pure software vendor to a world-leading provider of advanced interactive television technologies, applications and services.

As the CEO of British Interactive Broadcasting, Ackerman was responsible for launching the world’s first comprehensive interactive television service allowing consumers to shop, play games, email and bank on their TVs as part Sky Digital in the UK. He also served as managing director of Sky Ventures, where he oversaw BSkyB’s portfolio of joint venture channels including Nickelodeon UK, Paramount Comedy Channel, QVC UK, The History Channel UK and The National Geographic Channel. 

Ackerman’s career also included a stint as vice president international at A&E Television Networks where he was responsible for the launch of The History Channel in the U.K. and Latin America.