TV3 poaches RTÉ’s Bill Malone as director of programming

RTÉ2 controller joins Virgin Media television group as it prepares fresh ratings assault

TV3 Group has appointed Bill Malone as director of programming, poaching him from his role as RTÉ2 channel controller.

TV3 Group has appointed Bill Malone as director of programming, poaching him from his role as RTÉ2 channel controller.

 

TV3 Group has appointed Bill Malone as director of programming, poaching him from his role as RTÉ2 channel controller.

Mr Malone’s departure was confirmed to RTÉ staff this morning and comes shortly after his immediate boss, RTÉ Television managing director Glen Killane, left the broadcaster to head up Eir TV and Eir Sport.

At TV3 Group, Mr Malone will have responsibility for all programme commissioning, acquisitions and scheduling for the Virgin Media-owned television group.

This includes overseeing the content strategy for both TV3 and 3e, as well as UTV Ireland, once Virgin Media’s acquisition of the channel is cleared by regulators.

“Bill has a wealth of experience across a range of programming disciplines,” said TV3 Group managing director Pat Kiely. He joins “at an exciting time” for the company, as it prepares to “enter a growth phase” following investment from Virgin Media.

The Liberty Global subsidiary bought TV3 in an €87 million deal last year and earlier this month picked up the Dublin-based UTV Ireland from ITV for €10 million.

Mr Malone was appointed RTÉ2 channel controller in 2013 and was charged with commissioning a range of programmes aimed at 15-34-year-olds, an increasingly difficult audience for linear television channels to reach.

His commissions include audience hits such as First Dates Ireland and critically acclaimed but less-watched programmes such as reality series Connected, while he also developed the low-budget Reality Bites documentary strand for the channel.

His background in entertainment and factual programming aimed at younger viewers, as well as a popular instinct, is likely to make him a good fit for TV3 Group.

Before he became RTÉ2 controller, he was RTÉ’s commissioning editor of entertainment, managing a slate of programmes including The Late Late Show and The Voice of Ireland. Earlier in his career, he worked as a documentary-maker, on young people’s programmes and as a producer on Prime Time.

He succeeds Lynda McQuaid, who left TV3 in February.

RTÉ’s new director-general, Dee Forbes, announced later on Thursday that Dermot Horan, RTÉ Television’s director of production and acquisitions, has been appointed as interim managing director of RTÉ Television.

RTÉ One controller Adrian Lynch will serve as interim RTÉ2 channel controller in addition to his existing role.

In a message to staff, Ms Forbes said she looked forward to working with Mr Horan, Mr Lynch and their teams as RTÉ sets about “future-proofing” the organisation “to cope with the many changes our industry is facing”.

“As I said on my first day as director-general, RTÉ is a very special place with enormously talented people and I have had the opportunity to see this first-hand during my first two weeks in the organisation,” Ms Forbes said.

The channel controller positions, introduced in 2013 by Mr Killane, mirrored a BBC management structure that the British broadcaster has recently abolished.

The departures of Mr Killane and Mr Malone come just ahead of RTÉ’s launch of its autumn television season.