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New Head of BBG Middle East Networks Named

Top exec Conniff exiting after more than decade

This story was first published on Radio World’s sister publication Multichannel News

Brian Conniff, currently the president of the Middle East Broadcast Networks and a veteran with more than a decade with the service, is exiting, to be replaced by Ambassador Alberto Fernandez, who is joining from the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), where he has been vice president.

Middle East Broadcast Networks is a nonprofit funded by the Broadcasting Board of Governors that provides news and information to 22 Arabic-speaking countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

BBG bills the services as “supporting democratic values by expanding the spectrum of ideas in the region and producing accurate, professional, and independent news and information on all media platforms” and calls it “a trailblazer in audience engagement.”

In response to the announcement of Conniff’s exit, John Lansing, CEO of the BBG (and formerly president of Scripps Networks and head of CTAM), said: “Brian has played a significant role in BBG’s growth throughout the years, and his expertise and counsel have been invaluable to me. He is an extraordinary leader and has worked very closely with other network leadership to streamline our collective and individual efforts, and to develop creative programming that demonstrates real impact”

Of Conniff’s successor, Lansing said: “Ambassador Fernandez is inheriting a first-class team with a portfolio of major initiatives.”

MBN chair Kenneth Weinstein said the board endorsed Fernandez.

“Ambassador Fernandez shares our values and focus on long-term growth,” Weinsteinsaid. “He has the perfect combination of skill, experience and regional expertise that we need to continue driving forward at MBN. We are pleased that he accepted this challenge and look forward to working with him. The Board and I are also very grateful to Brian Conniff for his passion and leadership, and thank him for his accomplishments over many years of dedicated service to the agency.”