Broadcast moves

The latest high-level appointments and departures in public radio and television

BBC Trust to have first female head

1 September 2014

Rona Fairhead is set to become the first chairwoman to lead the BBC’s governing body. She has been named as the UK government’s preferred candidate.

Before being confirmed in the job, Fairhead will face questions from MPs in the government’s Media Select Committee next week. She is to replace Lord Chris Patten, who resigned in earlier this year for health reasons.

Fairhead is a former Financial Times chief executive, with extensive leadership experience in business, having served on the boards of HSBC, PepsiCo, plane and train-maker Bombardier and chemicals group ICI.

If appointed, she will be expected to lead the BBC through the choppy waters of charter renewal – the process reviewing the corporation’s obligations to the public which takes place every ten years. The renewal is usually preceded by at least a year or two of intense debate over the broadcaster’s worth and its level of public funding. The current charter is due to expire in 2016.

Fairhead said of her candidacy: “I am under no illusions about the significance and the enormity of the job but I am excited to have the chance to lead the BBC through the coming years.”

[Image: Financial Times]


Radio New Zealand fills new post of Head of Digital Media

8 August 2014

Glen-ScanlonRNZ has appointed Glen Scanlon as Head of Digital Media. He is currently the editor at, a prominent national news website. He previously worked as a chief reporter and assistant editor in regional press in New Zealand, and as an editor at CNN in London.

In making the announcement Radio New Zealand CEO, Paul Thompson, emphasised the importance of the new role in the public broadcaster’s multiplatform digital strategy.

“He has proven experience in leading a team of digital journalists to achieve high levels of audience growth and engagement.”

“Glen will lead our digital media strategy and ensure we provide high quality, trusted and engaging news and information on our websites and apps and through social media,” Thompson added.

Scanlon said he was looking forward to delivering strong, multimedia journalism, and building on Radio New Zealand’s reputation for telling great stories. He is due to start his new role in October.


Change at the top for the Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahamas

5 July 2014

Diana-SwannThe Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas (ZNS) has announced the appointment of seasoned broadcaster Diana Swann as General Manager. She replaces Edwin Lightbourn, who is entering retirement.

Swann previously served as deputy GM for the ZNS Northern Service after becoming the first female News Editor and News Director at the station, as well as heading the sales department for the broadcaster in the capital, Nassau.

In the storms of 2004 and 2005, she led teams covering the hurricanes at ZNS; “she was able to bring calm to a community on the edge, both during and after the storms” reported the Bahamas Press.

ZNS is a CBA member. Its name stands for Zephyr Nassau Sunshine and it operates five radio stations as well as the only over-the-air TV service in the Bahamas.


Cameroonian media development veteran to lead AMI

29 May 2014

Eric-ChinjeThe board of the African Media Initiative has appointed Eric Chinje as its new CEO. Chinje, from Cameroon, was chosen after an international selection process and he will begin his 3-year term this July.

The AMI’s core mandate is to develop Africa’s media sector, and in a statement the organisation it would benefit from Eric Chinje’s “stellar journalism, communications and development experience along with valuable management skills and an unalloyed commitment to Africa’s development.”

Chinje is both an experienced journalist and seasoned high-level adviser on African development. He was Editor for Cameroon Television and has been a correspondent for the likes of the CNN World Report, the BBC World Service, Voice of America and Deutsche Welle. He is currently a senior adviser with KRL International in the US, following a stint as Director of Strategic Communications at the Mo Ibrahim Foundation in the UK.

Eric Chinje spent over 16 years at the World Bank in Washington DC where his roles included leading the Global Media Development Program at the World Bank Institute and the Africa Region Strategic Communications Unit.

[Image: Camwisa]


Nigerian Television Authority names new DG

19 March 2014

SolaThe state-owned Nigerian TV Authority (NTA) has announced the appointment of Sola Omole as the Director-General. He takes over from the acting DG, Alhaji Musa Mayaki, who has reverted to the position of Executive Director Finance and Adminstration.

Omole’s appointment was approved by the Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, in Abuja. It appears to be a return to broadcasting for Omole, who worked at the then Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (now Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria) as a radio announcer, and the NTA as a reporter, editor and TV news anchor in the 70s and 80s. He then joined  Chevron Nigeria Limited in 1985.

The NTA is said to be the biggest television network in Africa, with stations in several parts of Nigeria.



New public broadcasting chiefs in Nigeria, Mozambique and Macau

20 February 2014

SalihuThe Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) has announced the appointment of Ladan Salihu as Director-General. He replaces Bola Agboola, who has been acting DG since July last year. Mr Salihu (pictured) was previously was the director of FRCN’s Kaduna zonal station. A seasoned broadcaster, he has been a correspondent at the Nigeria Television Authority, as well as a reporter for Voice of America’s Hausa language service. FRCN is a publicly funded network with 35 radio stations broadcasting over SW, MW and FM across Nigeria, and is thought to be the largest radio network in Africa.

Radio Mozambique now has a new CEO and President, Faruco Sadique Ibraimo. Mr Ibraimo, a journalist with over two decades’ experience has a background in both newspapers and community radio. Radio Mozambique is state-run, operating a national network, as well as provincial and local channels in Portuguese, English and indigenous languages.

Manuel Pires has been named as the new Chief Executive for Teledifusão de Macau, Macau’s public broadcaster. He will take over on 1 March. Mr Pires, currently Deputy Director of the country’s tourist board, will replace Leong Kam Chun, who resigned on 5 February after three years in charge. TDM broadcasts in Portuguese and Cantonese in the former Portguese territory, which is now controlled by China, like Hong Kong.


A new Director-General for All India Radio

4 February 2014

SheheryarBroadcaster Fayyaz Sheheryar has taken over as head of public service network All India Radio (AIR). He has served with the station and its TV equivalent Doordarshan in various capacities since 1981.

A former station director of Radio Kashmir, Sheheryar is reported to be the first officer from Jammu and Kashmir to head AIR, one of the world’s largest broadcasting networks. Sheheryar is also credited with launching Doordarshan’s Urdu channel in New Delhi in 2006.


Changes at the top in Zambia, Cyprus and Japan

30 January 2014

KanyamaZambia National Broadcasting Corporation has appointed Chibamba Kanyama as Director-General. Kanyama (pictured) has served as Corporate Affairs Director at both Zambia Breweries and the Zambia State Insurance Corporation. He was appointed at the first sitting of ZNBC’s new board – the broadcaster had no board until one was ratified recently by parliament.

Grigoris Maliotis has become the acting Director-General for Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation after the retirement of Themis Themistocleous, who was also a CBA board member. Maliotis was previously head of technical services at the broadcaster.

Finally, one of the world’s largest public broadcasters, NHK in Japan, has appointed Katsuto Momii as its new President, following the departure of Masayuki Matsumoto on 24 January (see below). However Momii drew a storm of criticism for remarks during his first press conference as head of NHK, where he played down Japan’s use of wartime sex slaves during WWII. He has since apologised for his “inappropriate” comments. Momii is the former vice-chairman of a trading house.

[Image: Source4Zambia]


New Secretary-General for the Caribbean Broadcasting Union

7 January 2014

Sonia-GillThe Barbados-based Caribbean Broadcasting Union has announced the appointment of Sonia Gill as its new Secretary-General. She is the former Assistant Executive Director of the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica, and replaces Patrick Cozier who retired from the position on 31 December last year after 18 years’ service.Gill, the first woman to head the union, is a journalist, media regulator, development practitioner and lawyer. She will take up her post on 20 January

The CBU, founded in 1970, is a not-for-profit association of public service and commercial broadcasters the region, covering 21 countries, and is an affiliate member of the CBA.


Head of Japan’s NHK to step down

10 December 2013

NHKThe President of Japan’s Public Service Broadcaster has announced he is stepping down early next year. Masayuki Matsumoto, head of NHK, indicated he did not intend to seek another term when his current one runs out on 24 January.

“I fulfilled my responsibility during a single three-year term,” said Matsumoto said at a press briefing. “From the start, when I took up the post, I was going to serve a three-year single term,” he added.

Matsumoto came to NHK from the Central Japan Railway Company, where he was vice-chairman.  He is credited with  reducing fees for viewers and cutting staff costs at NHK. He is also considered to be responsible for the marketing efforts that led to a record 38.49 million viewer contracts in the first half of this year.

On his successor, Matsumoto said: “The most important thing is that NHK will develop as a public broadcaster. I hope that [the board] will select someone suitable for such a task.”

[Source: The Japan Times]


All India Radio announces new head

18 November 2013

R VenkateswarluR Venkateswarlu has been appointed Director-General of Public Service Broadcaster All India Radio.

He has moved from the post of Director-General of South Zone, where he oversaw the running of all stations in the south of the country. With 35 years of media experience, Venkateswarlu has held several roles in radio, as well as working for Prasar Bharati, the umbrella body covering public radio and TV in India.

He replaces Leela Dhar Mandloi, who has retired from the organisation after 37 years in service.

[Source: Asia Radio Today. Image: Afaqs]



Russian broadcaster appoints new Director-General

23 October 2013

Irina VarlamovaRen TV, a nationwide commercial broadcaster in Russia, has named Irina Varlamova as new director-general, replacing Aleksandr Ordzhonikidze, who is leaving the company.

Ordzhonikidze headed both the broadcaster and the station’s majority owner National Media Group, and will now focus on the latter role. Varlamova has held a number of posts at Ren TV, including editor-in-chief and executive producer, reports Digital TV Europe.


Head of USA’s public radio network steps down

21 August 2013

Gary KnellThe President and CEO of NPR (National Public Radio) Gary Knell has announced his departure after less than two years, and will be taking up a similar position at the National Geographic Society, the organisation’s board of directors announced this week.

Knell, pictured, will remain with the US network until the end of autumn while the board searches for a successor. In a letter to employees, Knell expressed confidence that the team at NPR is charting “an ambitious path” for the organisation’s future and that he had accepted the unsolicited offer to become chief executive officer at National Geographic following “a great deal of personal reflection.”

Knell took over NPR in December 2011 after a difficult period in terms of politics and funding. “We’ve calmed some of the waters politically. I’ve done a lot of outreach to members on both sides of the aisle to put NPR into a better context,” Knell told The Associated Press.

NPR is a not-for-profit network which is both publicly and privately funded. It broadcasts news, information and music programming to 975 non-commercial radio stations, reaching 27 million listeners in the United States per week.


New acting Director-General appointed for Nigeria’s FRCN

16 July 2013

Alhaji-Bola-AgboolaAlhaji Bola Agboola has been appointed as the Acting Director-General of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) and has assumed office in Abuja. Agboola was previously the director of FRCN’s Ibadan Zonal Station.

The new acting DG said his immediate plan is to embark on aggressive revenue generation, staff training and clearer signals for better listenership to move the corporation to greater heights, it was reported in Radio Nigeria Online.

Tunde Oluwanike of the Nigerian Union of Journalists described Alhaji Agboola as a “seasoned marketer, administrator and scholar capable of repositioning the largest radio network in Africa.”

FRCN is a publicly funded network with 35 radio stations broadcasting over SW, MW and FM across Nigeria.

[Image: Radio Nigeria Online]


Radio NZ names newspaper executive as CEO

13 June 2013

Paul-Thompson-RNZ-webRadio New Zealand has appointed Paul Thompson as the next chief executive and editor-in-chief of the national public service broadcaster. He succeeds Peter Cavanagh, who announced his departure in January this year.

Thompson is moving over from print media – he is currently the group executive editor of Fairfax Media in New Zealand and a former editor of the Christchurch Press and the Nelson Mail.

The chair of Radio New Zealand, Richard Griffin, said Thompson is a respected and experienced media executive with a track record of successful leadership: “The process of selection was thorough and competitive, and we are sure we have now appointed a CEO who is ideally versed in the concepts of editorial integrity and executive management that have been the hallmark of Peter Cavanagh’s ten years at the helm.”

Paul Thompson will take up his new post later in the year.

[Image: Fairfax Media]


New DGs for broadcasters and regulators in Pakistan, Nigeria and Ghana

13 May 2013

Samina Pervaiz (left) has been appointed director-general of Radio Pakistan. She is head of external publicity at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and will carry out both roles in parallel. The contract of incumbent head Ghulam Murtaza Solangi was terminated with immediate effect, according to Radio Pakistan’s website.

Nigeria’s broadcasting regulator, the National Broadcasting Commission, has named Emeka Mba as its new director-general. Mba was director-general of the National Film and Video Censor Board until July 2012. His new role begins with immediate effect.

Major Albert B Don-Chebe (retired) has been appointed as the new director-general of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation. Previously he was the director of corporate planning and communication at the Export Development and Agricultural Investment Fund, and is a lawyer by background. His new role began this week.


Broadcasting leadership changes in Rwanda, Canada, Malta, Australia and the UK

9 May 2013

The Rwandan government has named journalist Arthur Asiimwe (left) as head of the newly formed Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA). The body replaces the Rwanda Bureau of Information and Broadcasting (Orinfor). See Rwanda’s state broadcaster to go independent.

The head of English language services at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Kirstine Stewart, has made a surprise move into social media, becoming the managing director – and first employee – of Twitter Canada. She resigned with immediate effect.

Malta’s Public Broadcasting Services is in the midst of restructure following an election and change of government in March. Tonio Portughese is set to be appointed chairman of PBS, according to the Times of Malta, citing government sources. Reno Bugeja has been named as the broadcaster’s head of news.

Australia’s national broadcaster, the ABC, has appointed SBS TV executive Richard Finlayson as the director of television. Finlayson is currently chief operating officer at SBS, a position he has held since 2010. He replaces Kim Dalton (see below, 19 December) and begins his role on 1 July.

And lastly, the CEO of Digital UK, David Scott, has announced he will step down later this year. Scott joined Digital UK in 2008 to oversee UK’s switch to digital television, and is currently working to clear Freeview signals from airwaves needed for the introduction of 4G mobile services. A new CEO is expected to be appointed this summer.


CEO of Maori TV in New Zealand steps down

22 April 2013

Jim Mather, the head of Maori Television has announced his resignation. He is leaving the Maori language broadcaster to lead Te Wananga o Aotearoa, the Maori tertiary education institution.

Joining Maori TV in 2005,  just a year after the channel was founded, Mather oversaw significant growth of the indigenous broadcaster.

Maori Television chairman Georgina te Heuheu said he had made an “immense contribution to the success of Māori Television,” and added, “he took a fledgling broadcaster and developed it into a fully grown organisation now occupying its own unique space in our national television landscape, and working hard to earn the respect of a wide audience.”

Mather, pictured above, said his strong passion for development meant that the new opportunity to lead the Te Wananga o Aotearoa was one he had to pursue, and added that although the decision to leave was difficult, “we are well down the path of Maori Television’s transition to a multimedia digital organisation, and I feel like the time is right to conclude my tenure at the helm.”

The recruitment process for a new CEO will start next month, and Mather’s notice period will run until October.


SABC board chaos, new DG for Deutsche Welle

19 March 2013

CAPE TOWN: The functioning of South Africa’s Public Service Broadcaster, SABC, continues to hang in the balance with the dissolution of its board by parliament this week. It comes days after the resignation of chairman Ben Ngubane (pictured far left) and every board member bar one.

With the rush to appoint an interim board, opposition parties now accuse the government of political interference in the running of the broadcaster.

Confusion intensified last month when SABC announced the removal of the acting chief operating officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Ngubane and his deputy Thami Ka Plaatjie then said that the decision had been reversed, but the board made a statement it had not, and did not have the authority to remove the COO. Motsoeneng’s position is now unclear with the dissolution of the board.

The new, temporary board is expected to be approved by South Africa’s National Assembly and is to have a lifespan of six months.

BERLIN: Peter Limbourg has been named new director-general of Germany’s international broadcaster, Deutsche Welle. Limbourg (pictured above, right) is currently information director of pay TV and mass media company, ProSiebenSat.1 TV Germany. He has a background in law and journalism. At the end of September, Limbourg will succeed Erik Bettermann, who has led Deutsche Welle since 2001.

“Together with my colleagues, I hope to further enhance Deutsche Welle’s journalistic standing and its multilingual and multimedia programming. Intensifying DW’s cooperation with Germany’s public service broadcasters ARD and ZDF is another goal I have set myself,” said Limbourg.


Chief operating officer appointed for BBC Global News in India

6 February 2013

BBC Global News Ltd, which encompasses the broadcaster’s commercial news operations, BBC World News and the international version of the BBC news website, has appointed Preet Dhupar as head of operations in India.

The role in India has been created in the wake of the broadcaster’s recent international restructuring, in a bid to ensure an integrated focus on its English language news interests during a time of rapid change in Indian broadcasting.

Dhupar, currently finance and operations director for BBC Global News and BBC Worldwide in India, will take on the new role alongside her existing one. She will be responsible for determining the BBC’s commercial priorities and targets for news across India.

A qualified accountant, Dhupar joined the BBC in 2000 and was instrumental in setting up operations in India, and has also provided operational leadership and management of the broadcaster’s commercial businesses in Singapore.


Radio New Zealand begins search for a new CEO

18 January 2013

Radio New Zealand is seeking a new head after the resignation of its chief executive and editor-in-chief, Peter Cavanagh. In announcing that he will be stepping down at the end of the year, Cavanagh stressed the importance of a smooth transition for the broadcaster.

“I have advised the board that after ten years as CEO of Radio New Zealand, I will not be seeking to renew my contract when it expires in December. I am announcing my decision now to give the Board as much time as possible to find the best person to lead the organisation into the future,” he said.

“It has been a great privilege for me to lead a world-class public service broadcaster like Radio New Zealand over the past decade, but at the end of the year it will be time for me to move on to other things.”

Radio New Zealand (RNZ) is a member of the CBA, which commended Cavanagh’s work.

Secretary-general Sally-Ann Wilson said: “The announcement is a loss not just for RNZ, but also for Public Service Broadcasting globally.

“Peter has always been a solid supporter of and contributor to CBA activities, but his real achievement at the helm of RNZ has been maintaining audience support and broadcast quality. Radio New Zealand National finished 2012 as the No.1 radio station in New Zealand for the second year in a row,” she said.

“For a public service broadcaster operating in the most competitive radio market in the world, this really is a truly remarkable achievement.”


ABC’s head of TV resigns, director-general of Georgian Public Broadcaster steps down

19 December 2012

Kim DaltonKim Dalton, director of television for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation has announced his departure. He has been in post since 2006, and will finish at the national broadcaster in February 2013.

Dalton, pictured, is credited with spearheading some of the biggest technological changes at the ABC, such as the introduction of new digital channels and the iView platform, an iPad app for ABC content.

The ABC said it hopes to appoint a replacement by early next year.

[Image: ABC]

The head of the main national broadcaster in the country of Georgia is to step down. Giorgi Chanturia, director general of Georgian Public Broadcaster, was appointed in 2008 for a six-year term.

GPB’s technical director, George Baratashvili will act as director general until the conclusion of a competitive selection process.

Chanturia told journalists that he was resigning because he wasn’t able to fulfill the plan he made when assuming the post three years ago, according to Tbilisi-based news website, Democracy and Freedom Watch.


New network heads in South Korea, Georgia, and the UK

7 December 2012

The past month has seen new heads appointed for at least three national broadcasters around the world.

Gil Hwan-Young took office as president and CEO of Korean Broadcasting System on 23 November. Mr Gil, 58, emphasised that KBS should strive to produce creative content to break through the financial crisis that has constricted the broadcasting industry. He joined KBS as a TV producer in 1981.

Rustavi 2 Broadcasting Company, one of four national TV networks in Georgia, announced the appointment of a new director-general, Nikoloz Gvaramia last month. The TV station, is one of four national broadcasters in Georgia, and is reported to have Tbilisi’s highest viewership.

Meanwhile in London, Tony Hall was appointed as the new director-general of the BBC on 22 November. It follows the resignation of George Entwhistle on 10 November. Lord Hall, currently CEO of the Royal Opera House, is due to take over the role in early March.

This entry was posted in Latest and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .