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National Geographic looks to bolster global operations, makes key appointments

MUMBAI: In a move to bolster its global operations, National Geographic Partners has announced several key appointments for executives in North and Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

The announcement builds on National Geographic’s commitment to expand its global reach across all areas of its brand, including its publishing, broadcasting, travel and licensing businesses.

“National Geographic reaches more than 670 million people across the globe each month through our media platforms and consumer products. Our challenge is to keep growing that number in a manner that reflects the strength and value of our brand.

As we reviewed our current footprint, we felt it was important to build a strong foundation in our regional markets, so that we could approach the marketplace in a more integrated, consolidated way. These appointments will provide us talent on the ground to help us accomplish that goal,” said National Geographic Partners COO Ward Platt.

Lorenzo Orozco has been named GM, senior VP Latin America. He joined Fox International Channels as GM, Mexico and doubled revenues in less than four years. He also created an important new digital business, Fox+ Broadband, which provides premium movies and series to viewers via the internet in Latin America.

Orozco will continue to be based in Mexico City and will be responsible for building revenue for National Geographic Partners businesses in Latin America, including Channels, Publishing, Digital and Travel. He will report to Fox Networks Group Latin America COO Edgar Spielmann, in addition to reporting into Platt at National Geographic Partners.

Con Apostolopoulos has been named GM, VP Asia Pacific and Middle East. He will manage the National Geographic Partners business in the region, including Publishing, Digital, Kids, Travel and Licensing.

Apostolopoulos was previously Fox Networks Group Asia Pacific VP partnerships, where he has led regional and global partnership deals across multiple networks with Emirates, Hyundai, Prudential, Honda and more.

Apostolopoulos will report to FNG Asia Pacific and Middle East executive VP, commercial for Asia Rohit D’Silva, in addition to reporting into Platt. He will continue to be based in Hong Kong.

Deborah Armstrong, currently Fox Networks Group executive VP, will add oversight of the National Geographic Partners business in Europe/Africa to her portfolio of responsibilities.

Armstrong joined National Geographic Channel in Asia in 1998, and was instrumental in the growth of the channel business in Asia and Europe across various functions including advertising sales, marketing and communications.

Armstrong will remain based in London.

Whit Higgins was previously National Geographic Channels International VP, business development and global programming and has now been promoted to National Geographic Partners senior VP, Strategic Planning and Business Development.

Higgins was Fox International Channels Finland GM for four years and launched the Fox FTA channel and National Geographic Channel Finland in the market. Prior to Finland, Higgins was VP, Channel Development at FIC Europe – launching new channels in a number of European markets, and a director in the programming department for National Geographic Channel (US).

Higgins will lead a team to support all areas of National Geographic Partners in optimising the existing business and identifying and developing new business opportunities. Higgins will be based in Washington, DC.

Carlyn Staudt, previously National Geographic’s International Channel group senior VP, has moved into a new role as National Geographic Partners senior VP, content partnerships.

Staudt will be responsible for managing National Geographic Partners’ relationship with Fox Home Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Film and Television Distribution. In addition, she will manage Cinema Ventures, National Geographic’s large-format film business, and digital content syndication opportunities. She will be based in Washington, DC.