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Ozcaster puts new chief on beam

Pubcaster Australian Broadcasting Corp. has hired a new chief for its Asian satellite channel amid signs that the 1-year-old Australian Television service is struggling to meet its budgets.

Derek White, a longtime ABC manager, was named Monday to the new post of general manager of ABC Intl. Broadcasting.

White retains responsibility for the Radio Australia web.

ABC managing director David Hill said the two ABC overseas services shared programming policies, an Australian outlook and a “sensitive” approach to the Asia-Pacific audience.

Ben Hawke remains as general manager of AusTV. The ad-supported service is carried on Indonesia’s Palapa satellite that beams to 15 countries.

A report in the Australian Financial Review said AusTV was struggling to attract advertisers and to meet revenue targets because it cannot give an accurate audience count.

An ABC spokesman declined to comment but said the network next week would release an independent audit of the channel’s audience potential.

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