Paley Dialogues: Breakfast

Sarah Barnett, President and General Manager, Sundance Channel

Nov 13, 2013
8:15 – 9:30 AM
Los Angeles

Sarah Barnett, President and General Manager, Sundance Channel

As president and general manager, Sarah Barnett is responsible for the day-to-day operations of Sundance Channel, 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, Sundance Channel has evolved and has been reenergized into a dynamic, multi-platform brand that engages affluent audiences with acclaimed original content. Barnett launched Sundance Channel’s scripted strategy, kicking it off with the mini-series “Carlos,” winner of the Channel’s first Golden Globe® Award, “Appropriate Adult,” which earned Emily Watson Golden Globe and SAG nominations, “Restless,” which earned Charlotte Rampling SAG and Emmy® nominations and most recently the critically acclaimed “Rectify,” a scripted series created by Ray McKinnon, and from the producers of AMC’s “Breaking Bad.” In 2013, Sundance Channel was nominated for a record ten Prime Time Emmy® nominations for its original projects “Top of the Lake” and “Restless.” In spearheading the network’s unscripted original programming, she executive produced two seasons of the Peabody Award winning and Emmy nominated “Brick City” and launched the critically acclaimed series “Push Girls” and the social media phenomenon ”Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys.”

Barnett previously served as executive vice president and general manager since 2009. Prior to this role, Barnett was vice president of marketing for Sundance Channel and oversaw all strategic and creative marketing for the brand. Barnett joined Sundance Channel from BBC America where she served as vice president of on-air. 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 earned her BA in history of art from the University of Warwick in West Midlands, United Kingdom. She was named to CableFAX’s “Most Powerful Women in Cable” and “CableFAX 100” lists in 2010, 2011 and 2012. She was named a “woman to watch” by Multichannel News in 2012.

Moderated by Michael Schneider, Los Angeles Bureau Chief, TV Guide Magazine
Michael Schneider is TV Guide Magazine's Los Angeles bureau chief, overseeing the magazine's west coast bureau, managing breaking news and feature coverage. As a boy, Schneider collected copies of TV Guide and programmed his own imaginary TV network. What seemed awfully odd back then came to good use later in life, as he has spent more than 17 years covering the TV business. Prior to TV Guide, he was TV editor of Variety and Daily Variety, a post he held since 1999. Before that, he was the Los Angeles bureau chief of the weekly trade Electronic Media. As the blogger behind Franklin Avenue (, Schneider writes about Los Angeles media, restaurants, politics, and events for the blog, which has appeared in such publications as the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Magazine and LA Weekly. (He also organizes the annual "Great Los Angeles Walk" urban hike through the city.) As a television expert, Schneider has appeared on ABC’s "World News Tonight" and "Primetime Live," NBC's "Today” show, and "Dateline NBC," CBS' "Early Show," G4's "Attack of the Show," E! News Daily, and many other programs and outlets. Schneider is a Northwestern University graduate and lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two young boys.

This event is exclusive to Media Council members and other invited guests. To find out if you're eligible to join the Media Council, contact Stephanie Kousoulas at 212-621-6732 or

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