RTÉ has appointed its first ever female Director-General – with Discovery Networks’ Dee Forbes set to assume the role later this year.
Cork native Ms Forbes will join RTÉ from her current role as President and Managing Director of Discovery Networks Northern Europe.
She joined Discovery Networks in 2010 as Head of its UK and Ireland operation and eventually leading the Northern Europe region. In her role she has overseen a wide range of channels - including 27 TV brands across 18 different territories.
Speaking about her appointemnt, Ms Forbes said: “Although it was a tough professional decision to leave Discovery, the personal decision to return to Ireland and lead its biggest broadcaster, RTÉ, is an opportunity of a lifetime."
Before joining Discovery Networks, Ms Forbes led Turner Broadcasting’s business in the UK and Ireland, which consisted of seven entertainment channels, including Cartoon Network, Boomerang and TCM.
She spent several years working at Turner Broadcasting in a variety of commercial roles including General Manager for the Nordic/Central and Eastern Europe regions and Head of Advertising Sales for Europe.
Moya Doherty, Chair of the Board at RTÉ, welcomed Ms Forbes' appointment.
“Not only is this the first Director-General in almost fifty years to be appointed externally, but she will also be the first female to hold the role,” she said.
“RTÉ is at a pivotal moment, one where the future shape and financing of public service broadcasting is being re-imagined. I am delighted to have someone with such a breadth of industry experience, such a creative and visionary understanding of the global broadcasting market, and a proven management record.”
Ms Forbes is currently Chair of the Commercial Broadcasters Association in the UK and is a Non-Executive Director of the Irish Times newspaper group. She is also on the board of children’s charity ChildLine and Munster Rugby Club.