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ABC poaches SBS exec for top TV role

Australia’s ABC has appointed the COO of the country’s other pubcaster, SBS, to become its new director of television.

Richard Finlayson will fill the gap left when former television chief Kim Dalton left in December.

ABC, which comprises ABC1, ABC2, ABC3 and ABC News 24, and catch-up TV service ABC iview, described Finlayson as “a strong advocate for public broadcasting”.

Finlayson has been at multicultural state broadcaster SBS for seven years, currently as COO and formerly as director of commercial affairs. He is credited with “driving cultural change and delivering audience-focused content through genuine cross-divisional and cross-platform collaboration,” according to ABC.

Finlayson is also on the boards of Australian digital TV platform Freeview and online advertising body IAB. He was previously director of programme acquisitions at the now defunct XYZ Networks; has produced shows for Prime, Network Seven and Network Ten; and co-founded The Weather Channel with Austar.