The ABC’s Rebecca Heap to look for new challenges

28 May, 2018 by Don Groves

Rebecca Heap.

As the ABC’s head of distribution, entertainment and specialist, Rebecca Heap is a key player in the broadcaster’s revamped management structure – so why is she leaving?


The highly-regarded executive insists she is not moving immediately to a new role but has decided it’s time to move on after four years with the ABC.

Heap leaves at the end of this week but will be available for the rest of her notice period. The ABC will appoint someone to act in her position and is expected to soon start the process to find a successor.

“I have loved my time at the ABC but it’s time to look for new things,” she tells IF. “There are a few things bubbling but I am not jumping into something straight away.”

Formerly the head of head of programming and digital, responsible for TV channels ABC, ABC Kids, ABC ME and ABC Comedy plus ABC iview and children’s digital products, her remit expanded when she took her current role in February.

She has overseen the distribution of all TV and radio networks except local, iview, ABC Listen and third-party platforms, and has been instrumental in effecting the ABC’s transition to a more digitally-focused future.

She has championed numerous digital-first projects and says she is most proud of You Can’t Ask That, an in-house created show which asks misunderstood or marginalised Australians awkward, inappropriate or uncomfortable questions.

ABC director of entertainment and specialist David Anderson said: “Bec has been a strong advocate for expanding our digital rights and for digital first commissioning as a mechanism to drive new audiences and develop fresh Australian stories and talent. Working closely with the content teams, this has delivered outstanding results in iview original programs such as You Can’t Ask That and The Katering Show.

“Most importantly Bec is a passionate leader who has fostered a highly talented and engaged team, focused on delivering the best audience experience for ABC content across platforms.”

In turn, Heap thanked Anderson and her content team colleagues for the “amazing opportunity” to manage ABC’s programming and digital products.