Heather Killen – CEO and Chairman
Heather Killen is the CEO and Chairman of H&C TV. Ms Killen is also a partner in London-based corporate advisory and investment firm, Hemisphere Capital, which focuses on new media and technology companies.
Ms Killen’s experience includes the development and management of Yahoo! Inc’s business outside the US between 1996 and 2001, during which time she grew the company’s non-US business from zero to $170 million in revenue, and over 1,100 employees in more than a dozen countries.
Ms Killen served as a non-executive director of ITV plc from 2007 to 2009. Since she acquired control of Horse & Country TV at the end of 2008, the channel has been named Best Specialist Channel 2011 in the UK’s prestigious Broadcast Digital Awards, and repeatedly shortlisted in this and other categories, including Best Factual Channel. Since 2012, Horse & Country TV has launched on cable in the Netherlands and Sweden.
Richard Burdett – Managing Director
Richard Burdett is Managing Director of H&C TV. He joined the Channel in January 2009, shortly after its acquisition by Hemisphere Capital. His experience includes senior roles within the creative agency, media agency, commercial and public service broadcaster, and production company sectors.
He began his career at Saatchi & Saatchi, spending eleven years, ultimately as Group Account Director. During that period he worked with clients such as British Airways, Sainsbury’s, McDonald’s and Cadbury Schweppes. In 1994 he moved to the world of broadcast, initially as Head of Ad Sales for Discovery and subsequently as Head of Marketing for Flextech, where he was responsible for the launch of UKTV .
In 1999 he moved back to agency life, this time on the media side, as Vice Chairman of CIA (now MEC), one of the world’s largest media planning and buying agencies. In 2003 he returned to broadcast, spending five years as Head of 4 Creative, Channel 4’s much-awarded in-house creative team.
Mr Burdett is currently a member of the Marketing Committee of British Dressage and was previously a Non-Executive Director of Maverick, the production company behind Embarrassing Bodies and 10 Years Younger.
Wayne Dunsford – Director of International Distribution
Wayne Dunsford is Director of International Distribution at H&C TV with responsibility for the global distribution strategy for the channel.
Mr Dunsford has a strong commercial background in the international broadcasting, cable and satellite business. This has included over seventeen years at the BBC where he was responsible for the operational development and management of the BBC’s international channels business across Europe, Middle East, India, Africa and Asia. During this time he launched profitable channels across multiple genres.
Having begun his career working in the voluntary sector, Mr Dunsford’s career has also included media consultancy, acting as VP International Distribution at HIT Entertainment and General Manager of JimJam, a global pre-school children’s channel belonging to Chello Media, and running the international division of a languaging company. His expertise lies in sales, business development, marketing and building strong collaborative working relationships.
In addition to his role at H&C TV, Mr Dunsford is a non-executive director of Broadcast Text International.
Jonathan Rippon – Head of Programming
Jonathan Rippon is the Head of Programming for H&C TV. He is responsible for the commissioning, development, acquisition, scheduling and distribution of all programming for Horse & Country TV in the markets where it operates.
Mr Rippon was responsible for scheduling all children’s TV programming at the BBC, where he worked between 1997 and 2005. His career there also included working on the Factual Entertainment Development team that developed series such as Dragons’ Den. He went on to be the first ever Development Executive Producer at LIVINGtv followed by being appointed as Deputy Head of Development of ITV Imagine from 2006-2008, a pioneering creative innovation unit for the company. During that time he worked on securing new sponsors for Coronation Street and the FA Cup, as well as developing international entertainment formats and pitching them with ITV Studios America to US TV networks.
At H&C he has commissioned successful series such as “At Home with Carl Hester” and “Getting to Greenwich” in the lead-up to London 2012. His commissioned series have been acquired by Sky Sports and channels in North America, France, Italy, New Zealand and the UAE.
Desi Dillingham, MBE – Non-Executive Director
Ms Dillingham’s accomplishments include a term as Chairman of British Dressage from 1997 to 2007, and the Presidency of the BHS from 2007 to 2011. She continues to serve as Vice President of British Dressage. She is also a Trustee for the BEFF (British Equestrian Fed Fund), Founder Chairman of Supporters of British Breeding, a Yeoman of the Worshipful company of Saddlers and Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Farriers, a Member of the Olympia Committee since 2005 and Chairman of the Animal Health Trust Equestrian Awards since 2003.
Ms Dillingham has also served as Chairman of the Supporters of British Dressage from 1990 to 1996, was a Member of the British Olympic Equestrian Fund from 1984 to 2000, and was a sponsor of Jennie Loriston Clarke from 1984 to 1999. She has an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Essex, Writtle College, and was awarded an MBE for services to the equestrian sector in 2009.
Jeff Kupsky – Non-Executive Director
Jeff Kupsky is currently engaged in various advisory and investment activities involving media and education companies. He is presently on the board of Immerse Learning (formerly LanguageLab) and H&C TV. This follows an extended career with Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a subsidiary of Time Warner and one of the premiere international media companies. His most recent position was as President of Turner’s European, Middle Eastern and African division.
His areas of expertise across children’s, news, and entertainment genres include new business development, new market entry and development, commercial development and management of channel operations, content development and distribution, ad sales, marketing and communications, and strategic investment. He has held various industry and board representation positions for joint ventures and other investments.
Phil Duff – Non-Executive Director
Phil Duff is one of the most well respected entrepreneurs in the equestrian industry. His experience with leading brands is second to none and, alongside a finely tuned team, he established Ariat’s dominance in the UK and European footwear market. Phil’s experience in the equestrian profession began in the early 80’s when he saw a gap in the market for a more casual approach and the HAC-TAC brand was born.
In 1997 Ariat’s founder invited Phil to establish the technical brand in the UK. By 2010 Ariat was the market leader and the multi-brand company Phil had created, was acquired. His new challenge was to ensure Ariat became the number one brand not just in the UK, but also throughout Europe.
A member and past chairman of the British Equestrian Trade Association, he has until recently served on the BETA International Trade Fair Committee, working tirelessly to secure long-term relationships. Recently Phil has embarked on the next phase of his career as an independent business professional. His tenacious personality will prove invaluable to businesses whether as a non-executive director, providing business advisory services or management coaching.