Press Releases

Sheila de Courcy is Cross-Divisional Head of Children's Content

19 December 2012: The Director-General has today announced the appointment of Sheila de Courcy as Cross-Divisional Head of Children's Content.

The appointment is a new role, and will see Sheila leading and advising on strategy, content and future policies and procedures for children and young people across all platforms in RTÉ. Says Noel Curran, Director-General, RTÉ: “I am delighted to announce Sheila as Cross-Divisional Head of Children’s Content. It’s exciting to have someone of her calibre and experience to lead and develop RTÉ’s Children’s programmes, which are a marker of our character as a distinctive, Irish, public-service broadcaster.”

He added: “Our audience see, every day, the benefits of a group structure for News and Sport. It maximises impact with the public across all of RTÉ and breaks down internal silos. It offers the opportunity not only to create content in the most agile and creative way possible, but it also allows for the smoothest distribution of that content. The scope of this structure for children’s output is particularly promising. There are other areas of our output that I believe would benefit from such a cross-Divisional approach. It’s a model we will be considering closely elsewhere in RTÉ in 2013.”

Commissioning Editor for Young Peoples Programmes since 2004, Sheila re-vitalised the format of RTÉ's output for young people with the introduction of RTÉjr, TRTÉ and TwoTube. She has championed innovative cross-platform programming such as Red, Aisling’s Diary and the recent user-generated project Life's Like This, which saw youngsters take over RTÉ Two for one day. Sheila commissioned award-winning series including Punky, On The Block, The Importance of Being....Whatever and OMG! Jedward’s Dream Factory.

Sheila joined RTÉ from the National Museum of Ireland in 1986. Starting out as a production assistant on Irish-language programmes she went on to produce, direct and executive-produce programmes, on both radio and television, across all genres, including 40 Years of RTÉ Television in 2002.

Outside of RTÉ, Sheila is Chair of the Board of The Ark, a Cultural Centre for Children, and a member of the Board of the IFI.

Sheila said: “Young audiences today are growing up in a digital age and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to develop innovative, child-centred multi-platform children’s content that will continue to put young people at the heart of RTÉ’s portfolio of services.”

This appointment comes at an important time for RTÉ in the development of its services for young people. Early next year RTÉjr , the Under 7's service, will be further developed across three platforms to include a dedicated digital television channel for Under 7s, the digital RTÉ jr Radio station and a mobile app with additional online outlets, providing both original and acquired programmes for young audiences 365 days of the year. Alongside this, TRTÉ, in addition to its service on RTÉ Two and online for 7-11 year olds, will be launched on RTÉ Digital Radio from 1900 to 21.00 each evening