Are there changes coming at the highest level in the Seven Network?

Brad Lyons, head of program development at the Seven Network is about to be sent to Melbourne where he will head up programming at HSV 7, working with TV industry veteran, Ian Johnson.

That has got TV industry circles wondering why because he and Seven’s head of programming, Tim Worner, have been working together now for a number of years.

Seven has started sniffing around the TV industry for a replacement while it grooms its head of scheduling, Angus Ross. Ross is going to be given more program development responsibilities.

But the network wants a replacement in Sydney as head of development, so it has approached several leading independent producers to see if they are interested.

It is thought no one has expressed interest because they can’t quite understand the reasoning behind shifting Brad Lyons to Melbourne. But it is understood that Seven wants to give Lyons a quick ramp up in experience of running a programming schedule on his own, working with Ian Johnson, who is in the process of pulling back from day to day involvement in the network to become chairman of Seven in Melbourne.

The head of programming in Melbourne is basically responsible for co-ordinating Seven’s schedule (and that in Adelaide and Perth) to take account of the AFL season and other local variations (Not everything is run from Sydney). Just why Mr Lyons needs that experience right now is uncertain. Perhaps there are more senior change that could happen at Seven in Sydney and the network bosses want to make sure they have a bit of insurance in the programming area.

Whatever the reason, the impending move has certainly raised eyebrows.

Peter Fray

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