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TV3 chief Andrew takes a step back from light entertainment

HE helped create some of the biggest stars on Irish television, from Grainne Seoige to Claire Byrne, Lorraine Keane and Maura Derrane.

But TV3 boss Andrew Hanlon is to relinquish his control of TV3 shows, including Ireland AM and Xpose, to the station's new director of content, Jeff Ford.


One of Hanlon's biggest discoveries was the then Dublin model Amanda Byram, who he hired as Ireland AM's first female anchor. Amanda subsequently went to make a name for herself in both the UK and US.

Speaking in 2009, Amanda said: "My first boss ever on TV was Andrew Hanlon, who spotted a Day In The Life article I did, where the journalist asked me what I wanted to do when I finished modelling and I said I wanted to get into television."

Now, the launch of a new €5m Sony HD production centre in Ballymount means TV3's entire daytime output will be controlled by former Channel 5 executive Jeff Ford.

"Shows like Xpose and Ireland AM were great for me to set them up and get running, but as light entertainment programmes they should never have resided in a news and current affairs department," Andrew told the Herald. "Now Jeff has come in, we both had concerns that my department had too many programmes, so these home-produced shows are going to come under the wing of this new banner TV3 Studios, which Jeff is running."


As director of news and information programming, Andrew will now exclusively look after TV3's news output, with current affairs show MidWeek part of that brief.

"This is going to help me concentrate on doing just news, online news as well and TV3's documentaries.

I'm also going to be setting up an Investigations Unit in TV3," he said.

The largest purpose-built TV studio in Ireland, opened last month, and Andrew said they are now looking for a daytime controller to work under Ford.

"Daytime TV is very important for TV3 to build up ratings to add to channel share so it's vital to have someone on that," he said.

Meanwhile, Nora Owen will continue as presenter of news show MidWeek until the end of the current series in July when her role will be reviewed.