Oz’s Ten net lures Masters

Was best known for commissioning 'Seachange,' 'Babies'

SYDNEY — In a major shift of strategy, CanWest-backed Network Ten struck a body blow to coin-challenged Australian pubcaster ABC Tuesday, poaching its commissioning editor for drama Sue Masters amid promises to boost its drama slate.

After six years at ABC, Masters is best known for commissioning Granada’s drama “Seachange,” now the pubcaster’s highest rated program of all time, as well as acclaimed miniseries “Simone de Beauvoir’s Babies” and quirky dramedy “Grass Roots.”

Before joining the ABC staff, she produced long-running ABC medical series “GP” and acclaimed mini-series “Brides of Christ” with Britain’s Channel 4 and Ireland’s RTE.

Ten on the scale

Once on the verge of bankruptcy before being rescued by CanWest about 10 years ago, Ten is now profitable after pursuing a low-cost programming strategy targeting younger audiences. Ten’s luring of Masters with promises to increase spending on drama signals a change of direction.

Masters’ defection is a huge blow to ABC, which is still reeling from a 12% funding cut imposed after the 1996 conservative federal government and a management clean-out after the March appointment of former Thames TV deputy chief executive Jonathan Shier as topper.

“The drama budget has not been what we would have wanted in recent years,” admitted Shier. “She clearly got a very attractive offer from Ten, which we were unable to match.”

More TV

  • National Geographical Partners

    National Geographic Partners Trims Staff With Layoffs

    SYDNEY — In a major shift of strategy, CanWest-backed Network Ten struck a body blow to coin-challenged Australian pubcaster ABC Tuesday, poaching its commissioning editor for drama Sue Masters amid promises to boost its drama slate. After six years at ABC, Masters is best known for commissioning Granada’s drama “Seachange,” now the pubcaster’s highest rated […]

  • Rupert Murdoch

    Sky News Back in Spotlight in Latest Twist of Fox-Sky Bid

    SYDNEY — In a major shift of strategy, CanWest-backed Network Ten struck a body blow to coin-challenged Australian pubcaster ABC Tuesday, poaching its commissioning editor for drama Sue Masters amid promises to boost its drama slate. After six years at ABC, Masters is best known for commissioning Granada’s drama “Seachange,” now the pubcaster’s highest rated […]

  • Jeff Glor

    Steve Capus Out as Top Producer at 'CBS Evening News'

    SYDNEY — In a major shift of strategy, CanWest-backed Network Ten struck a body blow to coin-challenged Australian pubcaster ABC Tuesday, poaching its commissioning editor for drama Sue Masters amid promises to boost its drama slate. After six years at ABC, Masters is best known for commissioning Granada’s drama “Seachange,” now the pubcaster’s highest rated […]

  • Starz Expands Into Canada With Bell

    Starz Expands Into Canada With Bell Media Pact

    SYDNEY — In a major shift of strategy, CanWest-backed Network Ten struck a body blow to coin-challenged Australian pubcaster ABC Tuesday, poaching its commissioning editor for drama Sue Masters amid promises to boost its drama slate. After six years at ABC, Masters is best known for commissioning Granada’s drama “Seachange,” now the pubcaster’s highest rated […]

  • Sky TV Logo

    Fox Still Expects Sky Takeover to Go Through, but Opponents Rejoice

    SYDNEY — In a major shift of strategy, CanWest-backed Network Ten struck a body blow to coin-challenged Australian pubcaster ABC Tuesday, poaching its commissioning editor for drama Sue Masters amid promises to boost its drama slate. After six years at ABC, Masters is best known for commissioning Granada’s drama “Seachange,” now the pubcaster’s highest rated […]

  • 'The Bachelor' Recap: Arie Luyendyk Jr.

    'The Bachelor' Recap: Arie Luyendyk Jr. Faces 'The Bekah-ning'

    SYDNEY — In a major shift of strategy, CanWest-backed Network Ten struck a body blow to coin-challenged Australian pubcaster ABC Tuesday, poaching its commissioning editor for drama Sue Masters amid promises to boost its drama slate. After six years at ABC, Masters is best known for commissioning Granada’s drama “Seachange,” now the pubcaster’s highest rated […]

  • CBS Orders Pilots From Gloria Calderon

    CBS Orders Pilots From Gloria Calderon Kellett, Amanda Green, Michelle Nader

    SYDNEY — In a major shift of strategy, CanWest-backed Network Ten struck a body blow to coin-challenged Australian pubcaster ABC Tuesday, poaching its commissioning editor for drama Sue Masters amid promises to boost its drama slate. After six years at ABC, Masters is best known for commissioning Granada’s drama “Seachange,” now the pubcaster’s highest rated […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content