President & General Manager
As president and general manager, Sarah Barnett is responsible for the day-to-day operations of SundanceTV, directing all efforts as they relate to program development and production, creative strategy, scheduling and marketing, both on- and off-channel. She was named to this post in February 2013.
Barnett is redefining this marquee brand as a timely and vital channel on the TV landscape with authentic and distinctive shows that are both smart and entertaining. Under her leadership, SundanceTV has evolved and been reenergized into a dynamic, multi-platform brand that engages affluent audiences with acclaimed original content. Barnett launched SundanceTV’s scripted strategy, kicking it off with the mini-series “Carlos”, the winner of SundanceTV’s first Golden Globe® Award. In 2014, SundanceTV continued to have unparalleled success under Barnett’s leadership when the network was nominated for a record ten Prime Time Emmy® nominations for its original projects “Top of the Lake” and “Restless.” Additionally, Elisabeth Moss earned her first Golden Globe Award® for “Top of the Lake.” Most recently, the second season of “Rectify,” from the producers of “Breaking Bad,” debuted to critical and audience acclaim and was quickly renewed for a third season, and the enthusiastic reception to original mini-series “The Honorable Woman,” starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, once again demonstrated Barnett’s ability to establish a distinctive space for SundanceTV amidst a crowded TV landscape. The network currently has a robust lineup of upcoming original scripted programs, all from independently minded creative auteurs, including the mini-series “One Child,” “Babylon” from Oscar® winner Danny Boyle and new seasons of “Rectify” and “The Red Road.” Barnett is also at the forefront of the network’s unscripted initiative, which most recently included critically acclaimed fan favorites, “Dream School,” “The Approval Matrix” and the Emmy®-nominated “The Writer’s Room.” Barnett also oversaw the network’s rebrand from Sundance Channel to SundanceTV in 2014.
Barnett previously served as executive vice president and general manager since 2009. Prior to this role, Barnett was vice president of marketing for SundanceTV and oversaw all strategic and creative marketing for the brand. Her responsibilities included oversight of consumer and trade marketing, as well as advertising for SundanceTV and SundanceTV.com. Barnett led all creative campaigns and branding development and execution for the network, including strategic partnerships and all channel creative expressions. She also spearheaded SundanceTV’s pioneering branded entertainment short-form series and sponsorship creative executions.
Barnett joined SundanceTV from BBC America where she served as vice president of on-air. During her four year tenure, Barnett reported into the President and led BBC America’s award-winning creative team, launching a successful brand refresh, packaging their VOD brand and developing all strategy and execution for the network’s show packaging and branded blocks. She also executive produced several original shows for BBC America. Before BBC America, Barnett spent 12 years with the BBC in London, where she directed and produced for both BBC radio and television across several BBC channels, including the flagship broadcast networks as well as working on the first ever BBC digital cable network.
Barnett was recently featured in The New York Times “Corner Office” column and has been profiled in Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Ad Week, The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company,and Indiewire, among others. She was included in Variety’s 2013 Power of Women: Women’s Impact Report as well as The Hollywood Reporter’s 2013 Women in Entertainment Power 100 List. Barnett was also inducted into the 2014 class of Multichannel News’ Wonder Women and has been named to the CableFAX Top 100 and Most Powerful Women list for the past four years.
Barnett earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in history of art from the University of Warwick in West Midlands, United Kingdom.