Bill Malone has been confirmed by Virgin Media as TV3’s director of programming in place of Lynda McQuaid who previously held the title of head of content at TV3 Group. Malone will be responsible for programme commissioning, acquisitions and scheduling. Malone was channel controller of RTÈ2 and a member of the national broadcaster’s TV board for the past three years and during this time he led a rebrand and repositioning of RTÈ2.
More recently, Malone introduced the First Dates reality TV format to RTÈ and had success with Meet the McDonaghs and the Conor McGregor series, The Notorious, which have been sold worldwide. The Reality Bites documentary series was one of the hallmarks of Malone’s tenure at RTÈ2, with titles such as Born Addicted, Ireland’s Sulky Racers, Donal Walsh My Story plus comedy series Bridget And Eamon and Apres Match of The Day.
Malone was previously RTÈ’s commissioning editor for entertainment, producing Prime Time Investigates and the Late Late Show, which makes him a good fit for TV3, 3e and the recently-acquired UTV Ireland. Malone has been with RTÈ for the past 18 years and his appointment is seen as Virgin Media’s current step-up in Ireland’s TV market.
Speaking at the launch of the IAPI Adfx awards shortlist, TV3 managing director Pat Kiely said Virgin Media was serious in posing a major challenge to RTÈ and build on TV3’s success in recent years. Kiely said other announcements will be made in the coming months. Yet, there remains some uncertainty in adland as to what will become of UTV Ireland.