For Aussies wondering what’s on Helensburgh and most of the country, the SBS channel is a well-known option for broadcasts. For 7½ years, it’s been under the same leadership, which is about to change.
Former Optus, IBM and ABC executive and current SBS Managing Director, Michael Ebeid, will be stepping down come October 2018. He joined back in June 2011, and was known for bringing in a strong focus on a positive working culture as well as bringing the SBS into the modern age. Mr. Ebeid is the longest-serving managing director in the SBS’s history, and has said in a statement that stepping down was one of the hardest things he’s had to do, but he felt that it was time for him to step down and let someone new move the SBS forward.
He believes that the SBS is in the best position it’s been in over 4 decades. The network, he says, is a fixture for those looking for what’s on Helensburgh and across the country, more relevant than before and ready for the future. He says that the SBS is the media organisation audiences go to on their platform of choice, with distinctive programs and perspectives that, he believes, allow for a better shared understanding in Australia’s diverse, multicultural society.
Ebeid expresses gratitude for the SBS employees, board of directors and executive, which he considers as the most passionate team he’s worked with in his 3 decade career, saying that he’s learned a lot from the. Importantly, Ebeid says, that he’ll be leaving the organisation confident in the SBS’s future.
Under Mr. Ebeid’s leadership, the SBS launched SBS On Demand, it’s streaming service, back in the latter half of 2011. Additionally, the network added three new channels to its lineup, the National Indigenous Television, the Food Network, and SBS Viceland.
Notably, his departure comes at a time when the SBS, as well as the ABC, is undergoing two separate government inquiries; a competitive neutrality inquiry into public broadcasting, and an efficiency review that’s part of the Budget announced back in May 2018. The former is led by Sandra Levy, Former ABC Director of Television, Julie Flynn, Former Free TV CEO, and Robert Kerr, Former Productivity Commission Head of Office. The former will be spearheaded by Peter Tonagh, Former Foxtel CEO, and Richard Bean, the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s (ACMA) former Chairman.