ABC Children’s restructures, de Jong to depart
Head of commissioning and development for ABC TV’s children’s division Carla de Jong will be leaving the broadcaster at the end of March as the team undergoes a restructure in 2012.
After a four-year stint with ABC Children’s, de Jong will relocate to Toronto to consult with both local and international companies in the development, financing and co-production of children’s content.
At ABC, de Jong was instrumental in the creation of ABC3, helped the revitalisation of ABC4Kids, and also commissioned successful programs such as the dramas My Place and Dance Academy.
ABC’s restructure will now see the Children’s TV commissioning department divided into two areas – animation and live action.
Chris Rose, the current VP of programming and development at HIT Entertainment in the UK, will head up the animation area beginning at the start of May. He will lead ABC TV’s commissioning of animation for ABC3 and ABC4Kids, reporting directly to ABC Children’s controller Tim Brooke-Hunt.
Rose was responsible for new content development at HIT and was executive producer on HIT’s successful new pre-school series Mike the Knight, which he developed.
Prior to his time at HIT, Rose worked at the BBC as acquisitions executive for BBC’s Children’s and most recently, as acquisitions manager for CBeebies.
Simon Hopkinson has been tapped to head up the live action Children’s TV commissioning area. For the last three years Hopkinson has been responsible, under de Jong’s direction, for the commissioning of drama and animation for ABC TV’s children’s channels.
Hopkinson, who will report to Brooke-Hunt, will also continue to represent ABC Children’s TV in its ongoing co-production relationship with CCTV (China) Children’s Channel.
From the beginning of April, Hopkinson will supervise Thierry Bled, who will focus on the commissioning of factual/reality genres.
Aaron Mulheron, commissioning and development co-coordinator, will continue to work across all genres and areas, and remains the first point of contact for independent producers.
ABC Children’s TV’s programming and acquisition area, led by Barbara Uecker, is not affected by the restructure.