Longtime cable executive and The Africa Channel executive vice president and general manager Bob Reid will retire from the industry in March to start up a new Africa-based production company.
Reid, who was part of the original team that launched The Africa Channel in 2005, will develop an independent production company in Accra, Ghana that will supply content to the network, according to officials.
Reid's nearly four-decade career in the cable industry also included a stint as executive vice president and general manager of Discovery Health Channel from 2001 to 2004, where he oversaw programming and production.
Reid will leave The Africa Channel having spearheaded distribution deals with Comcast, Time Warner, Cox and other cable systems that have garnered the network an estimated 10 million subscribers.
In 2010, he oversaw the launch of The Africa Channel's HD simulcast in the U.S.; and in 2007, he led the launch of The Africa Channel UK, which currently airs on the BSkyB platform and is available in the U.K and parts of Europe.
A successor has not been named, but in the interim executive vice president of sponsorship and corporate development Mark Walton will oversee affiliate sales and marketing duties in addition to advertising sales.
The Africa Channel executive vice president of programming Shirley Neal will continue to oversee programming, production and network operations.
"When I joined the network seven years ago, I had three specific goals: to launch a network; to have a role in changing American perceptions about African culture; and to travel to, and learn more about, the African continent on an intimate level. This new opportunity allows me to focus on that third goal," said Reid in a statement.
"I've enjoyed building this network and creating a forum for programming that is unlike anything else on television - a place where all aspects of African culture and the diaspora is captured and presented to Americans in a holistic and entertaining way. It has truly been fulfilling to set this network on a path towards growth and expansion. Having spent time in Ghana, I'm very excited about the prospect of living there," he added.
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