Head of Documentaries quits ABC

Updated: Alan Erson, ABC TV’s Head of Documentaries, has resigned to take up a new position with Essential Media.

Alan Erson, ABC TV’s Head of Documentaries, has resigned to take up a new position with an undisclosed Australian independent production company.

Erson has spent five years with ABC TV, three as a Commissioning Editor for science, history and natural history documentaries, and the last two as its head. He also took responsibility for Catalyst, Compass and factual initiatives when Head of Factual Jennifer Collins was appointed the new Head of Entertainment.

Prior to joining ABC, he worked with BBC, Canada’s CBC, Discovery and National Geographic channels.

Commissioning Editor Karina Holden will take over immediately as acting head.

Alan Erson said: “I have had a terrific five years here – it has been a privilege. I’m grateful for the opportunities that ABC TV has given me and for the support of my colleagues inside and outside the organisation.”

Kim Dalton, Director of ABC TV added: “Alan has done an outstanding job across a diverse range of projects in his portfolio. He brought great talent and experience to the role and made a significant contribution to ABC TV’s strong relationship with the Australian documentary community. I wish him every success in his new position.”

Erson will step aside from involvement in the development or commissioning of new documentary programming but continue as executive producer on his existing slate of production until he leaves on June 20.

ABC advises Head of Documentaries will be advertised nationally and a recruitment process will commence immediately.

UPDATED: Alan Erson joins Essential Media as General Manager Australia and Head of Factual. Chris Hilton, CEO and previous Head of Factual in Australia, will continue to lead Essential, executive produce individual factual projects and focus on building up Essential’s new Toronto and Los Angeles offices.

Chris Hilton, CEO of Essential Media said: “Alan brings a wealth of experience and proven success in delivering both television and multi-media content. He will be a great asset in this newly created role at Essential.”

Alan Erson added: “I’m looking forward to being part of Essential’s innovative team – and to taking up the challenges of independent production in this time of great change.”

Essential Media has produced Australia: The Time Traveller’s Guide, Australia On Trial, Jack Irish, Rake and Gourmet Farmer.

Erson joins in July.

One Response

  1. Sigh…Why do all the good operators move on to independent production after a 5 year tour of duty? A:Because they should! Mark Scott and Kim Dalton have created the most favourable commissioning environment at the ABC in over two decades, but Kids, Comedy and Drama are all presenting mediocre (at best) programmes. Why is this so?

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