Sky Living To Re-Focus On US Acquisitions As Antonia Hurford-Jones Exits

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The Blacklist 1

Antonia Hurford-Jones is exiting her role as Director of Sky Living.

Her exit, which comes after less than three years in post, is part of shifting strategies at the channel which will see Sky Living scale back on original commissions such as Mount Pleasant and The Enfield Haunting to re-focus “almost exclusively” on US acquisitions, Broadcast reports.

That shift in strategies will see Sky Living’s budget for original commissions move over to general entertainment channel Sky1. The change in strategy is said to come down to the fact that very few of the channel’s original commissions have been able to match the ratings performance of imports such as The Blacklist and Criminal Minds.

In a note to staff, Sky’s Entertainment boss Stuart Murphy said: “As part of this reallocation of budget, the majority of home-grown shows on Sky Living will move over to our main entertainment channel from next fiscal, with Sky Living focusing almost exclusively on US dramas going forward.”

“I’d like to thank Antonia for all her hard work, creative inspiration, relentless enthusiasm, shocking sense of humour and great friendship in a role she has performed brilliantly,” he added. “Please wish her all the best in her next step in what will no doubt continue to be an incredible career.”

Antonia Hurford-Jones joined Sky Living in 2011 as Commissioning Editor before being appointed Acting Director of Sky Living and ultimately the Director of Sky Living following Jane Johnson’s departure in 2012. In her time as Director she was responsible for a re-brand which saw the channel shake off its “pink” image to embrace more male viewers.

  • Popeye13

    So Sky Living was supposed to be a channel for women and that went well!!!!!
    (Criminal Minds, The Blacklist, Bones, CSI etc hardly what you’d populate a womens’ channel with)
    How does a channel that will focus exclusively on US buy-ins still be called ‘Living’?!

    • To be fair to Sky, they dropped the notion of Living being a Women’s channel more than a year ago. It’s hard to argue with their reasoning here, US imports have been out-performing commissions significantly on the channel.

      • Popeye13

        Oh i agree, having a channel just for US imports is a good idea but what does that mean for Sky Atlantic?
        Will it be stripped of non-HBO shows and its Showtime stuff also or…?
        Sky never do things in a simple way do they! 😀