Ten hires veteran programmer John Stephens

TenChannel Ten has hired veteran programmer John Stephens as director of scheduling and acquisitions describing him as a “critically important addition” as the network seeks to bounce back from some of its poorest ratings on record despite a brighter start to the year.

Stephens, who has more than 40 years’ experience in the industry, will work closely with Beverley McGarvey, chief programming officer at Ten, and CEO Hamish McLennan, the network has confirmed. McGarvey took over from David Mott in October 2012, and is understood to have scheduled maternity leave this year.

The appointment follows commentary from industry insiders who told Mumbrella Ten had made fundamental errors in its scheduling and wasted the opportunities of The T20 Big Bash League and The Winter Olympics in Sochi as shows like The Biggest Loser and Puberty Blues down on last year.

Stephens joins Ten from the Seven network where he worked with news boss Peter Meakin who started at Ten last month as executive director of news and current affairs.

Stephens started at Seven in 2003 from the Nine Network where he was a director of programming. He was a former head of programming strategy and acquisitions at Seven and most recently a programming consultant.

McLennan said in a statement: “John is one of the most experienced and successful television programming executives in Australia, with a local and international reputation second to none.

“With a long history of developing, commissioning and acquiring popular, innovative and enduring television series, he knows what viewers want and how to create and schedule hit programs.

“We are very pleased to welcome someone of John’s calibre, experience and talent to Network Ten. He is a critically important addition to our management team. His appointment underlines our commitment to hiring industry-best talent as we work on our turnaround strategy.”

Megan Reynolds


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