Julie Flynn advised the Free TV Board today that she will retire in July after 15 years as head of the organisation.
Flynn was appointed CEO of Free TV in February 2001, oversaw the smooth transition from analogue to digital television and has also been closely involved in efforts to secure better regulation, as the industry undergoes a transition to a new commercial environment characterised by rapid technological change.
Free TV Chairman, Harold Mitchell, said the Board reluctantly accepted Flynn’s decision to retire and praised her contribution to the industry over a long period of time.
“Julie has been a remarkably effective participant and advocate in a complex area of public policy,” Mitchell said.
“Julie’s leadership of Free TV is valued highly across the industry and her work is respected by broadcasters, regulators and politicians from all sides of politics.
Mitchell added, “Her retirement will be a loss for Free TV and for the industry.”
As well as the historic switchover to digital, Flynn has also led Free TV in its efforts to secure more commercially viable licence fees, maintain major iconic sporting events free on TV for all Australians and the development of better codes of practice.
Mitchell also said that Flynn had done a great job in developing Free TV’s marketing efforts on behalf of the industry.
“Julie has done a lot to improve recognition of the continuing value of commercial television to advertisers as well as the public,” Mitchell said.
“Her articulate and passionate representation of the industry has ensured that the value of free-to- air television services to all Australians has been front and centre of the public policy debate,” he said.
Flynn has thanked the Board for the opportunity to represent the industry. “This has been a difficult decision for me,” she said.
“The last 15 years has been an extraordinary privilege and a pleasure and I am extremely proud of all that we have been able to achieve over that time.
“Free TV is a great organisation in an industry that continues to be at the centre of Australian life. “It is able to attract and retain talented staff, and I greatly appreciate their efforts and commitment.”
Flynn joined Free TV after 25 years in journalism at the ABC and commercial broadcasters. She is a Walkley Award winner and a former President of the Canberra Press Gallery.