BBC Studios Kids & Family announces new senior appointments

BBC Studios announced the appointment of Edward Barnieh as VP of Development at BBC Studios Kids & Family and the promotion of Alexandra McGrail as Head of Commercial at BBC Studios Kids & Family.

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Edward Barnieh and Alexandra McGrail

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BBC Studios, the BBC’s commercial production and distribution arm, has announced the appointment of Edward Barnieh as Vice President of Development at BBC Studios Kids & Family; and the promotion of Alexandra McGrail as Head of Commercial at BBC Studios Kids & Family. The newly created senior roles at the heart of Kids & Family form part of the new division’s restructure designed to support its growth plans. Barnieh and McGrail will both report to Cecilia Persson, Managing Director of BBC Studios Kids & Family.

Barnieh will lead the development production team across a large portfolio of development projects, providing expert creative direction across multiple genres, managing transition from development to production - while assessing marketplace opportunities and risks. Meanwhile, McGrail will lead the commercial and business development team, identifying and securing commercial opportunities for kids’ content and managing the total commercial Kids & Family budget.

Barnieh is a hugely experienced content leader and storyteller, with a demonstrated history of success developing content for major broadcasters and working with independent studios. He joins BBC Studios from Netflix, where his roles included Manager of Animation Series, EMEA, based in London, and Manager of International Originals, Kids & Family, APAC, based in Singapore. Prior to that he spent some seven years at Warner Bros Discovery in Hong Kong and over five years at Nickelodeon in similar roles.

Meanwhile, McGrail brings a wealth of knowledge of children’s content partnerships from her previous role as Senior Commercial Manager of BBC Studios, which she took up in May 2021 on her return to the BBC. Prior to re-joining the BBC, she was Senior Commercial Manager at Argonon, Commercial Manager at Leopard Pictures, and Editor at Channel 4.

“Our ambition is to deliver high quality content that leaves a lasting impression and has the power to make a difference to the lives of kids and their families everywhere. Attracting the very best talent, forging creative partnerships and focusing on making programming that reflects and inspires children will help us achieve this. I’m delighted that Edward and Alexandra will be using their considerable talent and experience to help deliver our ambition,”  Cecilia Persson said.

“I’m really excited to join BBC Studios Kids & Family at a key period of growth for the business and can’t wait to help it deliver even more hits. Its shows are beloved around the world and I’m thrilled at the opportunity to lead this brilliant team, and work with exciting new talent, to create tomorrow’s ground-breaking, entertaining and cherished content,”  Edward Barnieh added.

“I’m passionate about young audiences, digital content and new talent, and excited that this new role allows me to combine these passions and help create inspiring, sustainable brands that will resonate with kids globally. Building dynamic commercial plans and opportunities will drive Kids and Family’s growth, and I cannot wait to get started,”  Alexandra McGrail concluded.

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