ABC’s entertainment distribution boss Rebecca Heap to exit after four years

ABC’s head of distribution for entertainment and specialist and former programming boss, Rebecca Heap, will leave the business after four years.

Heap first joined ABC Television as head of strategy and digital products in 2014, before being appointed head of programming and digital in 2016.

Heap first joined the broadcaster in 2014

In her time as programming boss, Heap handled the ABC’s TV channels as well as ABC iview and various children’s digital products.

She also helped rebrand and relaunch ABC ME (formerly ABC3) and ABC Comedy (previously ABC2).

In February, Heap was appointed head of distribution for entertainment and specialist, adding ABC listen and Radio National to her portfolio. The appointment came as the national broadcaster launched ‘ABC 2.0’, a set of initiatives which would change the way content was served to audiences.

It also followed a restructure of the ABC, which was announced last year by managing director Michelle Guthrie, which has seen the organisation divided into divisions based on content rather than platform.

David Anderson, ABC’s director of entertainment and specialist, thanked Heap for her “significant contribution” to the ABC.

“Bec’s leadership across digital and programming has been invaluable. Bec has championed ABC iview, which remains the leading broadcast video on demand service in Australia, and under her leadership the team have grown monthly program plays from 20 million in 2014 to almost 60 million,” Anderson said.

“In addition to her focus on digital products, Bec developed strategies to maximise our rights, our programming and our acquisitions to improve the reach and impact of ABC services for the
Australian public.

“Bec has been a strong advocate for expanding our digital rights and for digital first commissioning as a mechanism to drive new audiences and develop fresh Australian stories and talent.

“Most importantly, Bec is a passionate leader who has fostered a highly talented and engaged team, focused on delivering the best audience experience for ABC content across platforms. I’d like to thank Bec for her valuable contribution to the ABC and wish her all the best.”

Of her departure, Heap said: “It has been an incredible privilege to be part of the national broadcaster and I would like to thank David Anderson, and my talented and passionate colleagues, for the amazing opportunity to manage ABC’s programming and digital products.”

Heap will leave the company in June. It is not yet clear if she will be directly replaced.

Earlier this month, Treasurer Scott Morrison announced a freeze in funding for the national broadcaster which will effectively see $84m slashed from the ABC’s budget over the next three years.

ABC’s director of news, analysis and investigations, Gaven Morris, who in April announced the loss of 20 metro newsroom jobs, said there was “no more fat left to cut” at the national broadcaster.


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