Lynda McQuaid Lands A Fight in New Job
TV3 is under pressure to retain and gain an audience. It's not a task many in TV would relish. An over saturated advertising opt-out market and declining audiences for Irish TV channels from both live and on-demand content providers. Jeff Ford exits to Fox in the UK leaving his successor, Lynda McQuaid, with a massive drop in audience share from when he started back in 2009.
Lynda McQuaid will be under pressure to revive the ailing channel. TV3 has a 7% share of the audience just like the first person in the role of Head of TV Content, Jane Gogan, she'll have to fight to get funding for projects. Jane Gogan's time in TV3 was driven by Rick Hetherington’s and Canwest's policy of producing the bare minimum to maximise advertising sales with imports. TV3's new policy of quantity over quality means Lynda will also be fighting to nab some cash for expensive independent productions. Jane Gogan has since moved to RTÉ as Head of Drama.
It will be interesting to see how McQuaid approaches the role. She's the second female to get the job and the second Irish person to fill the position. It was difficult to see how two Englishmen (who had no real connection to Ireland) could produce content for an Irish TV channel, from budgetary and cultural perspectives, largely both took their leads from English formats.
McQuaid's CV is impressive having worked on many major Entertainment shows in Ireland for both TV3 and RTÉ (The Apprentice, MasterChef and The Voice of Ireland). In the UK she worked on the launch of ITV's second channel ITV2 having previously worked in the BBC.
TV3's CEO David McRedmond welcomed McQuaid to the TV service by saying "I have long wanted tobring Lynda into TV3 as one of Ireland’s most creative TV producer.... Her experience tallies with TV3’s “We Entertain” brand".
It will be interesting to see if McQuaid can move TV3 beyond their quantity over quality and convince her bosses that quality in a sea of quantity will diminish its value.