Carla de Jong, Head of Commissioning and Development ABC TV’s Children’s division, has quit to relocate permanently to Toronto, Canada.
De Jong’s exit follows her relocating to Canada in March 2011, but continuing to head up ABC Children’s commissioning. The move to allow her to work remotely, rather than appointing an Acting Head of Commissioning, also raised some questions from industry observers.
After four years with ABC Children’s, she relocates permanently to develop projects with Canadian and international companies.
Tim Brooke-Hunt, Controller of ABC Children’s said “Carla’s part in the success of our children’s channels over the past four years has been immense.
“She contributed greatly to the creation of ABC3, and to the revitalising of ABC4Kids. Together with Jan Stradling, Carla was responsible for the selection of our Studio 3 hosts – the faces of ABC3 – and for the creation of ABC4Kids’ popular Giggle & Hoot hosting team.
“Carla also commissioned successful programs such as the dramas My Place and Dance Academy, the comedy series Prank Patrol, and numerous factual/reality programs. Many of these programs have won multiple awards at home and internationally. She has strengthened the diversity of our channels and she has contributed to the continued success of Play School.”
De Jong’s resignation has triggered a restructure, which sees the Children’s TV commissioning department divided into Animation and Live Action.
Simon Hopkinson heads up the Live Action Children’s TV, having worked alongside de Jong for three years.
“Simon has contributed significantly to our success in these areas, and I am delighted that he has agreed to head-up our Live Action commissioning area reporting directly to me, said Brooke-Hunt. “Simon will also continue to represent ABC Children’s TV in our on-going co-production relationship with CCTV (China) Children’s Channel.”
ABC has previously announced Chris Rose, Vice President, Programming and Development at HIT Entertainment in the UK, to head the animation area from May.
“Chris will contribute greatly to the continued success of Australia’s animation industry and to ABC TV’s role as a leading broadcaster of animation for children,” said Brooke-Hunt.
Hopkinson will also supervise Thierry Bled in commissioning factual/reality content.
Aaron Mulheron, Commissioning and Development Co-Coordinator, remains the first point of contact for independent producers.
Barbara Uecker remains Head of ABC Children’s TV’s Programming and Acquisition.
The last major restructure for the division was in mid-2009 ahead of the ABC3 launch.