Lynda McQuaid Quits TV3 Fight
Since the beginning of 2015 TV3 has under pressure to retain and gain an audience. Earlier this year Virgin Media successfully bought the ailing channel at a cut price adding to its collection of media interests. The task of returning TV3 to its former self is not a task many in TV would relish, and it seems that Lynda McQuaid has decided to call it quits at the broadcaster, less than a year into her new post. She entered the job during a time of over saturation in the advertising opt-out market and declining audiences for Irish TV channels from both live and on-demand content providers. Jeff Ford exited the broadcaster to Fox in the UK leaving his successor with a massive drop in audience share from when he started back in 2009. As Lynda McQuaid leaves TV3 had just 8% share of the audience in 2015 and in January it dropped to 7%.
Lynda McQuaid was 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 had 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 was fighting to nab some cash for expensive independent productions. Something she was unable to do with the launch of programmes such as Saturday AM and Sunday AM.
Lynda was the second female to get the job and the second Irish person to fill the position. Her English predecessors largely took their leads from English formats. In the last year few original Irish programmes appeared to come from the new Head of Content, with her last decision not to commission an Irish version of the Got Talent franchise.
Lynda McQuaid leaves the channel following on from the departure of TV3's CEO David McRedmond in January, he was replace by Pat Kiely who announced a 24 hour rolling news service, owners Virgin Media quickly deny any new services from the broadcaster.