As Australia’s subscription TV provider Foxtel faces big decisions about its future, it has lost one of its key content managers, Hannah Barnes.
The announcement of her departure came the morning after another of her ratings triumphs with the start of a new season of Gogglebox pulling a Lifestyle channel audience of close to 200,000.
Hannah Barnes is the group general manager of Lifestyle and she will be stepping down from the role in October. The Lifestyle group pulls the biggest Foxtel audiences alongside Fox Sports. The channel group includes the flagship Lifestyle plus Lifestyle Home and Lifestyle Food.
Starting as head of programming with Lifestyle nine years ago, Barnes was later promoted to general manager.
“This has not been an easy decision for me because I have loved every minute of my nine years here,” Barnes said after making her announcement.
“I am ready to embark on my next adventure and to start the next chapter of what has been an incredible career both in the UK and now back in Australia.
“It’s time for me to ‘see what’s possible’.”
Foxtel executive director of television Brian Walsh said yesterday:
“Hannah has made an indelible mark on the success of the genre over the course of her stewardship and the Lifestyle group is the envy of our competitors.
“Her craftsmanship is admired throughout our industry, both here in Australia and internationally.
“An exceptional leader and advocate for equal opportunity, Hannah has led a high-achieving team who admire and respect her. Throughout her time at Foxtel she has actively mentored many staff across the business.”
Walsh called on staff to join with him in celebrating Barnes’s hard work, dedication and leadership.
A long list of success stories from Barnes and her Lifestyle team in recent years includes Grand Designs Australia, Selling Houses, River Cottage, Village Vets, Great Australian Bake Off and Gogglebox.
Walsh noted that last year she championed the commissioning of Love It Or List It, which premiered as the highest-rating Lifestyle production in Foxtel’s history.
Barnes added: “I want to thank everyone at Foxtel. There are so many wonderful people working in this company, in particular Brian Walsh, who has been an amazingly supportive leader and influence on me. I would like to thank Steve Baldwin for his guidance, calmness and candour.
“The team at Lifestyle are the best in the business. Your passion, hard work, and brilliance is the reason Lifestyle is what it is today.”
Photo: Barnes with the stars of Selling Houses Australia at a recent Lifestyle channel function [L-R]: Andrew Winter, Hannah Barnes, Shaynna Blaze and Charlie Albone