BBC Worldwide rejigs Oz, NZ business

BBC Worldwide Australia and New Zealand is restructuring its sales operation, merging its TV, digital and formats units under one umbrella.

Irene ReadDirector of content sales Irene Read (pictured) will oversee the enlarged business, with Deborah Tod taking up a new post as head of content sales for Australia, with Sam Stacey handed a new post as format sales manager. They will work closely, with Tod reporting to Read.

Tod, who joined BBCWW ANZ in July 2014 as senior sales executive, is a former MGM sales manager. She will now be responsible for licensing BBC content to broadcast and digital partners in Australia, and oversee commercial activities of TV formats.

Stacey, previously formats development producer, will now work closely with Read to manage BBCWW ANZ’s production partnership with FremantleMedia Australia. To this point, the pact as seen formats such as Bake-Off produced for Lifestyle Food as The Great Australian Bake-Off, Dancing with the Stars made for Seven Network and Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook recreated for pubcaster SBS.

Stacey will also work closely with format producers and broadcasters in New Zealand, which has local versions of BBC series Coast, on History, and Mastermind, on TVNZ.

He has been with BBCWW since June last year, joining from ITV Studios Australia.

‘‘These new roles reflect the need for an integrated approach across our TV, digital and format sales to prepare for company growth in this territory,” said Read.

“Deborah has a wealth of experience and has been instrumental in increasing our sales business in New Zealand over the past two years, and Sam has had great success getting a number of format sales off the ground.

“They’re a great asset to our diverse and evolving media business and I’m delighted to have them on board in these new roles.”

BBCWW ANZ this week reported financial year (March 31 2015-March 31 2016) headline sales after currency translation return £79.1 million (US$104.7 million). This was down on the £81.9 million the year before.

Local profit was £19.2 million, which was up on the £16.3 million in 2014/15.

The Australasian arm of the BBC’s commercial division reached more than three million viewers during the financial year, with premium channel BBC First commissioning local drama Banished in its first full year of local operation.

“Our healthy growth has contributed to a positive global story for the company this year and can be attributed to strong established partnerships, a proliferation of new ventures and the continued quality and breadth of our channel and content sales businesses in this region,” said BBCWW ANZ managing director Jon Penn.

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