Virgin Media Television director of content Bill Malone has announced that he will leave the broadcaster in the new year after six years leading its strategy on programming. He told colleagues the time is right for him to seek out his next challenge.
Mr Malone joined the former TV3 Group in 2016, when he was poached from his role as RTÉ2 channel controller, and has overseen commissions, acquisitions and scheduling for the multichannel Virgin group since then.
The Virgin role was described as “a career highlight” by Mr Malone in a memo to colleagues.
“I’m immensely proud of all that we have achieved together at Virgin Media Television in that time, from commissioning some of Ireland’s most successful international hits like Blood and Finding Jack Charlton, to ground-breaking programmes like The Guards: Inside The K, and Gogglebox Ireland,” he said.
Blood, starring Adrian Dunbar, was an award-winning Virgin drama that also aired on the UK’s Channel 4 in 2018 and 2020, while Finding Jack Charlton was an award-winning documentary co-production with the BBC.
“Through rebrands, grand slams, elections, storms and a global pandemic, we have grown and transformed the business as our news, current affairs, sport and studio programmes raised the bar time and time again,” Mr Malone wrote.
“And with such a strong schedule and pipeline of content now in place, the time is right for me to seek out my next challenge.”
Forthcoming Virgin programming includes The Vanishing Triangle, a six-part mystery thriller commissioned by Virgin and the US channel Sundance Now, and the comedy drama Faithless, written by and starring Baz Ashmawy in his first acting role.
Virgin Media Television managing director Paul Farrell said Mr Malone had been “a wonderful colleague” who had “helped to put Irish content on the map internationally” through his contribution to both the Ballymount-based company and the world of broadcasting.
“His professional and creative track record speaks for itself and while we are sorry to see him leave the business, we very warmly thank Bill for his major contribution and all of us wish him the very best with his future plans.”
Virgin Media Television broadcasts four free-to-air channels – Virgin Media One, Two, Three and Four – as well as Virgin Media More, a channel exclusively for Virgin Media Ireland’s cable TV customers, and the Virgin Media Player. Virgin Media is a subsidiary of Liberty Global, the converged video, broadband and communications giant that has operations in seven European countries.