The
board of SBS is currently interviewing candidates for the job of Managing
Director.

Monday’s Senate Estimates Committee hearing was told
that the interviews were going nicely, according to the acting MD, and head of
SBS TV, Shaun Brown.

Senator
SANTORO: Congratulations on that
appointment. How is the search
progressing for a new MD?

Mr
Brown: My understanding is that interviews are currently taking
place, and the search is well advanced.

Senator
SANTORO: Is Mr Quang Luu of SBS Radio a contender for that
position?

Mr Brown: The process is confidential,
Senator.

But
that was all he would say.

The
previous head, Nigel Milan, stepped down in August and compared to the ABC in
its attempt to fill the ABC TV head job, SBS seems to be rushing towards a
decision.

ABC sources say a short list is being established with names like
Denise Eriksen, Ian Carroll, Shaun Brown and perhaps former Seven
programmer, Chris O’Mara, mentioned. But
there’s no suggestion of alacrity with next March suggested as the most likely
time for a decision. In fact,
no one discussed the vacancy at the top of ABC TV during the grilling of the ABC
by Senators.

And yet
it was a far more important departure than that of Mr
Milan, and a far more important decision to fill. It is one of the most
sensitive in the whole ABC structure.

The
concentration on the ABC’s alleged bias and partiality by Senators such as Santo
Santoro, Liberal, Queensland, and Greens Senator Bob Brown is
all the more curious given their lack of interest on why Sandra Levy
departed.

Ms
Levy, whom ABC insiders say may have been looking to leave for Nine for some time before she left in September, is facing
some cultural problems at Nine with a lack of funds, confused decision making
and a lack of product ideas.

But
she’s about to start making decisions, according to Nine sources.