Veteran international media exec Kathryn Fink has become Director of Television at public broadcaster SBS in her home country, Australia.

She replaces Marshall Heald, who left at the end of 2021 to become Executive Director of local pay TV leader Foxtel’s entertainment operation.

Fink has over 30 years’ industry experience in locales such as Los Angeles, New York and Hong Kong, working in senior roles at The Walt Disney Company, Sky Italia, where she was responsible for the commissioning the market-shaping drama Romanzo Criminale, and News Corp. 

Most recently, she was General Manager, Media for Disney in Italy responsible for Disney+, pay TV channels, original content production and content sales. She left in 2021.

She’ll join SBS on July 4, taking on the programming strategy for a public broadcaster that unlike the more generalist ABC, has a specific remit underpinned by providing multilingual and multicultural content.

James Taylor, SBS Managing Director, says: “Kathryn brings a real breadth of experience to the role having worked across multiple continents, including America, Asia and Europe, and on all aspects of the global TV and streaming space – from content production, to operations and distribution, and across entertainment, fiction, factual and sports programming. 

“She also shares a passion for the distinctive content that defines SBS, underpinned by the SBS Charter,” he said. ”Among the standout programming she has commissioned is Romanzo Criminale, a crime drama series that was a catalyst for change in the Italian TV industry, Le Fate Ignoranti which recently won the Nastro D’Argento award for best TV series and Where Are You, a National Geographic documentary which traced the human stories behind a migrant boat arriving on the shores of Italy.”

“I feel very privileged to be to be given this opportunity to be a part of an organisation like SBS,” says Fink. “I am excited by the prospect of working with the talented and dedicated team to continue to deliver innovative, world-class content that explores, challenges and celebrates contemporary Australia, with the most distinctive multiplatform offering in the country.” 

Fink, bilingual in English and Italian, served as Managing Director of Fox Networks Group Italy and played a key role in the launch of Sky Italia in 2003. She remained with the business for eight years, much of that time as Head of Programming. She was recently appointed an independent board director of the Juventus Football Club, which is listed on the Milan stock exchange.