Deirdre Brennan returns to ABC as controller of children’s TV

Deirdre BrennanThe ABC has appointed BBC Worldwide’s director of content Deirdre Brennan as its new controller of children’s TV.

Brennan is a former director of programming for children’s channel Nickelodeon and she also previously spent six years as programmer for ABC Kids.

Brennan’s responsibilities at BBC Worldwide included the local development of subscription TV channels UKTV, UKTV NZ, BBC Knowledge, BBC Knowledge NZ and CBeebies along with local operations for BBC World News and iPlayer .

She said: “My three years experience at BBC Worldwide has been invaluable, but I am excited about the opportunity to return to ABC TV as Controller Children’s, an area of content that I hold a deep passion for. The ABC has an incredible connection with Australian children and families and I am thrilled to engage with this audience once again.”

Her appointment is one of the first big decisions involving Richard Finlayson who arrived as director of ABC TV in June.

He said: “I’m delighted to welcome Deirdre back to the ABC. Her achievements and standing in Australia and internationally are exceptional and she will undoubtedly make an important contribution to the development of our children’s brands.”

Brennan’s move follows a period of strained relations between BBC Worldwide and its long term distribution partner the ABC. In April the ABC said that it was “flabbergasted” that BBC Worldwide was ending its first run deal with the public service broadcaster to launch a new premium content channel. However the two organisations are currently promoting the forthcoming 50th anniversary of Doctor Who with an exhibition at the ABC’s headquarters in Sydney.

Brennan will take up the role in the new year.


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