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Are you the next SBS Managing Director?

The SBS Board is looking for a new Managing Director. Could it be you?

The official SBS advertisement for this position appears much lower down this screen.  

Save Our SBS – supporters & friends of SBS – believe that in addition to good management skills, it is very important that SBS find someone with a strong public broadcasting ethos — who puts viewers before advertisers — and is committed to SBS scheduling niche and diverse multicultural and multilingual Charter focused content, especially in primetime, so it is noticeably different from the ABC and commercial media.

We want the new Managing Director to act on the large body of evidence from different studies of different cohorts in differing periods during the past decade, which consistently showed that in-program advertising had conflicted SBS away from its Charter obligations with tens of thousands of viewers petitioning that SBS adopt its former model of not disrupting programs for commercial breaks[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11]. Therefore, a key criteria for Save Our SBS is that the new Managing Director must want to, and succeed in, returning SBS to its pre-2006 state, where ads were before and after programs only but not in them. 

We want the new Managing Director to get SBS back on track, so it fulfils its raison d’être.

Are you up for the task?

If you: 

  • meet the criteria specified by SBS (see the official SBS advertisement in the box below); and
  • are absolutely committed to removing all in-program commercial breaks, leaving ads before and after programs only; and 
  • are committed to ensuring SBS schedules niche and diverse multicultural and multilingual Charter focused content, especially in primetime (more than currently is the case); and 
  • will ensure SBS is noticeably different from the ABC and commercial media; and
  • have a strong public broadcasting ethos; and
  • will engage with Indigenous, migrant and other communities; and
  • will listen to stakeholders,

then Save Our SBS encourages you to apply for the position.

In our view, it could also be helpful if the person is a creative leader, community minded, can bring people together, has production, media, or ‘hands-on’ industry experience.

The views of Save Our SBS are expressed in the text above for what we want in the new SBS Managing Director.

The employer is SBS, not Save Our SBS.

Expressions of interest for the position should be via Blenheim Partners using the dedicated email address sbs@blenheimpartners.com  

The official SBS advertisement for the position is here and text of the advertisement appears in the box below.

Managing Director

Full Time,

Everyone has a story that influenced their choice to work at an inspirational and impactful organisation like SBS. For some it’s because we are one of the most unique public broadcasters in the world today. For others it’s because we are the only media organisation dedicated to exploring, reflecting and celebrating the rich diversity of contemporary Australia. Or maybe it’s because our unique purpose and world class content play such an important role in contributing to our ongoing success as a cohesive multicultural nation.

We are looking for an exceptional leader who shares our commitment and passion for the SBS Charter and our purpose – to inspire all Australians to explore, respect and celebrate our diverse world and in doing so, contribute to a cohesive society.

Reporting to the SBS Board of Directors, the Managing Director is charged with continuing to drive a compelling vision for the future of Australia’s only dedicated multicultural and Indigenous broadcaster, and ensuring its ongoing value to all Australians.

The successful candidate will already be an accomplished executive and leader, and will be responsible for the leadership, management, strategic direction, oversight and fulfillment of the SBS Charter, as well as providing effective, inspiring leadership to our large and diverse workforce. As the leader of a highly-respected national institution, the Managing Director is the public face of our organisation and is responsible for representing the interests of SBS to the Australian public, community leaders and groups, industry, the commercial sector and government stakeholders.

As a hybrid-funded broadcaster, the Managing Director will need to balance the management of our commercial revenues and relationships with SBS’s commitments to meeting the needs of the diverse communities we serve. This needs to be achieved against the backdrop of a rapidly changing and evolving media sector, and responding to the demands of our audiences.

Expressions of interest should be sent to: sbs@blenheimpartners.com

Applications close 18 September, 2018


[1] Department of Communications, The ABC and SBS Efficiency Study Report (redacted), April 2014, page 85, (the Lewis review) linked advertising with– "risks to the amount of Charter related content [shifting the focus from viewer to advertiser creating] a greater pressure on SBS management to consider the trade-off of delivering on commercial expectations, against delivering those functions described in the SBS Charter"

[2] London, Mimeo, McKinsey & Co, 1999, Public Service Broadcasters Around the World, page 29 (PDF 31), "dependence on advertising has led inexorably to a more populist and less distinctive schedule"

[3] SOSBS, 1 December 2008, One Minute Survey Results, Q7,

[4] SOSBS, 23 July 2013, A study of 2044 viewers of SBS television on advertising, Charter, relevance and other matters, page 12,

[5] SOSBS, 26 April 2017, Survey 2017 about SBS, pages 3 and 15,

[6] SOSBS, 12 June 2018, Programs on SBS survey 2018, page 8,

[7] SOSBS, 22 June 2018, page 30, Attaining a level playing field: SBS – commercial (Inquiry into the Competitive Neutrality of the National Broadcasters), Of the 4953 SBS viewers studied, upon reading the Charter, 72.60% (in 2008), 72.10% (in 2013) and 72.74% (in 2017) said– "SBS is less faithful to the Charter since it introduced in program advertising"

[8] Hansard, STANDING COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT, COMMUNICATIONS, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND THE ARTS, 30 October 2006, Mr Brown (SBS MD), “We have had phone calls of complaint, as we expected. My recollection is that in the first two days they were running at about 400 complaints overnight”

[9] SOSBS, 15 April 2015, The commercialisation of SBS versus efficiency, (evidence to the Environment and Communications Legislation Committee 2015),

[10] CommunityRun & SOSBS (WayBack Machine), Pomeranz M & Dempster Q [petition to Parliament & SBS], 2015, Preserve its Integrity! Don’t Increase Ads on SBS,

[11] SOSBS, [petition to the Minister] that ‘the SBS Board cease disrupting all programs for advertisements…’, 2008,


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