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ABC restructures TV division with Rebecca Heap charged with responsibility for all programming

Heap: now promoted to responsibility for ABC TV's platforms.

Heap: promotion makes her one of Australia’s most powerful TV executives

The ABC has restructured the leadership in its TV division, promoting Rebecca Heap to head of audience and digital, a role that puts her in charge of all of the public broadcaster’s TV programming.

The restructure follows the departure of head of content Adrian Swift earlier this year, with Heap – who was previously head of strategy and digital products – now one of the most powerful TV executives in Australia, looking after ABC iView, children’s digital and all broadcast TV channels.

Meanwhile, creative responsibilities will now be managed between the new head of non-scripted production, Brendan Dahill and the head of scripted production, a position currently being recruited.

Under the new structure the non-scripted team will include the heads of arts Mandy Chang, factual Steve Bibb, entertainment Jon Casimir, and events Justin Holdforth, while scripted will be head of Indigenous Sally Riley, comedy Rick Kalowski and children’s – which is also currently being recruited.

The ABC said it was also currently recruiting for someone to manage partner and stakeholder relationships, policy and strategy roles that were previously under the remit of Heap.

The shake-up comes just weeks before new ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie takes the reins of the public broadcaster, following Mark Scott’s decade in the role.

Director of television, Richard Finlayson, said the reorganisation would ensure a “platform-agnostic approach” to its delivery.

“ABC iview is the number one online TV service in the country. Our audiences are consuming content differently and we need to be programming for the future, now,” said Finlayson.

“There is a huge, growing demand for high-quality, original Australian content. We have an outstanding team,” he said.

“The focus on scripted and non-scripted production recognises the need across these distinct disciplines for concentrated creative firepower, regardless of platform, genre or demographic.”

Nic Christensen 

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