Stuart Menzies to exit the ABC

15 August, 2014 by Don Groves

Former ABC2 controller Stuart Menzies is departing the ABC on August 29 after 10 years with the public broadcaster.

Menzies has been acting head of TV content and creative development for the past nine months after the controller position was abolished in a restructure by Richard Finlayson, Director of ABC TV.


Adrian Swift, the former director of development and digital at the Nine Network, has been appointed head of TV content and creative development.

“Ten years working with the best creative minds in the country to bring both entertaining and important stories to the national audience has simply been a privilege,” Menzies said.

“Anniversaries such as this also make you question the best way to spend the next ten years and for me this means seeking new creative challenges outside ABC TV.”

Finlayson said: “Stuart is one of the television industry’s most experienced and respected executives and has made an outstanding contribution to the ABC. He’s passionate about television, has that rare ability for finding great stories and talent and we know he’ll pop up behind more exciting projects in the years ahead. We all wish him well.”

Menzies joined ABC TV in 2004 as head of documentaries where he commissioned more than 225 hours of production including Who Killed Dr Bogle and Mrs Chandler (which drew 2.35 million viewers, the highest ever for an ABC doc), Captain Cook: Obsession and Betrayal in the New World and The Sounds of Oz.

In 2010 he was appointed controller of ABC2. Amongst his commissioned programs were the Digital Emmy award-winning interactive entertainment series #7DaysLater; the irreverent Dirty Laundry Live; sketch comedy This is Littleton; the Opening Shot series by emerging filmmakers; and Joe Hildebrand’s controversial documentary series Dumb Drunk and Racist and Shitsville Express.

He also commissioned The Bondi Hipsters’ first comedy series, Soul Mates, Indigenous comedy 8MMM, Sabour Bradley’s Head First and Annabel Crabb’s Kitchen Cabinet. .

As acting head of TV content and creative development he led the team of genre heads across fiction, entertainment, comedy, Indigenous, arts, factual, and sports and events.