When SBS wanted to increase its ability to advertise in prime time (by “averaging out” the number of ads it could air throughout the day, within limits), commercial broadcast lobby Free TV was the proposal’s fiercest critic, lobbying both publicly and privately against the change, which would have split the TV ad pie more evenly between SBS and the commercial broadcasters.

Free TV had a victory when Labor joined with the Greens in defeating the ad-averaging bill. But now an executive who worked closely with former Free TV CEO Julie Flynn in arguing against the proposal — and went on to head the organisation following Flynn’s departure in July — has jumped ship to SBS, and from a rather hostile vessel at that. Clare O’Neil is SBS’ new director of corporate affairs, replacing Tureia Sample, who herself replaced the new member for Wills Peter Khalil around a year ago when he left the broadcaster. We hope there are no hard feelings at her new workplace.

Peter Fray

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Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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