Shaun Brown

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Shaun Brown is the former Managing Director of the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) in Australia. He was appointed to the position on 14 February 2006 for four years. In 2008, the SBS Board extended his contract until July 2011. During his time at SBS, the broadcaster's ratings share has risen to 6.2 per cent [1] and Australian production has increased. In 2009, Brown likened the cash-strapped broadcaster to Dickensian character Oliver Twist who kept asking the Australian Government for more funding.[1]


Brown began his broadcasting career with the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) in Perth in 1970.[2] He later worked as a reporter, presenter and producer with Television New Zealand (TVNZ), as well as a current affairs producer and presenter at the BBC. In 1994, TVNZ appointed him Managing Editor, News and Current Affairs. He was made Head of TV One in 1997. In 2001, he was appointed Head of Television on an annual salary reported to be $340,000,[3] responsible for running both TVNZ channels. Brown held this TVNZ position for nine months before the position was eliminated by chief executive Ian Fraser.[3] He joined SBS as Head of Television in January 2003.[2]

In New Zealand[edit]

Among his reporting assignments was, in 1973, coverage of French nuclear testing at Muroroa Atoll from on board the frigate HMNZS Otago, for which he was awarded the New Zealand Special Service medal in 2002. He also received industry recognition for his work as an investigative current affairs reporter and a producer of election night programs.

During his time at TVNZ, the network was accused by New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark of being "shamelessly ratings driven" according to a report.[4]

His position as Head of Television at TVNZ ended in 2002. This followed the Hawkesby affair. Hawkesby was hired from TV3 by TVNZ to read the news, replacing Richard Long, but was later sacked. Hawkesby was subsequently awarded a record-breaking $6 million by an arbitrator.[3]

In Australia[edit]

At SBS Brown has lifted investment in commissioned programs from around $4 million in 2002 to around $30 million in 2009. During the same period SBS audience share has increased by 22 per cent to a total share of 6.2 per cent. Brown was a delegate to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's 2008 2020 Summit.

Brown has been at the helm of SBS during some controversial times including the 2006 decision by the SBS Board to introduce advertising within television programming as opposed to in-between programming.[5]

While Brown has admitted SBS audiences reacted strongly to the introduction of in-program breaks,[6] since their introduction SBS has increased its audience share to record levels and increased the revenue raised through television advertising to $46.3 million in 2007-08 [2].

On 21 August 2007, it was reported that veteran SBS TV newsreader Mary Kostakidis had walked out on the network after nearly 20 years at the helm as a news presenter.[7]

On 15 April 2011 SBS announced that after an international search, Mr Michael Ebeid (the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's head of strategy and marketing) has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of SBS. He will commence on 13 June 2011, succeeding Shaun Brown, who had previously announced his retirement.[8][9]


  1. ^ Hudson, Phillip (5 March 2009). "Please sir, can we have some more, asks SBS's Oliver". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 4 November 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Shaun Brown - Managing Director, SBS Board, SBS, archived from the original on 22 April 2010 
  3. ^ a b c "Newsreader trouble follows former TVNZ head across Tasman". The New Zealand Herald. NZPA. 21 August 2007. Retrieved 9 November 2011. 
  4. ^ Wellings, Susan (21 August 2007). "Mary Kostakidis walks out on SBS". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 23 April 2011. 
  5. ^ Commercials and Promotions FAQs, SBS, archived from the original on 11 January 2009 
  6. ^ "The future direction of the SBS", The Media Report, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, archived from the original on 19 September 2011 
  7. ^ Kostakidis walks out on SBS. - The Sydney Morning Herald
  8. ^ SBS appoints new Managing Director. - SBS
  9. ^ SBS raids ABC for new MD. - The Australian