NBCUniversal International Studios has appointed former Australian Broadcasting Corp. exec Alastair McKinnon to head up its Australian production arm, Matchbox Pictures.
McKinnon was most recently head of content investment and planning at the national broadcaster. He was responsible for overseeing content production, business and planning activities across all genres and platforms for ABC’s entertainment and specialist division and oversaw production on high-end drama Harrow, starring Ioan Gruffudd, supernatural drama Glitch and the TV version of indigenous thriller Mystery Road.
Jeff Wachtel, president of NBCUniversal International Studios, said, “In Alastair, we believe we’ve found a visionary leader to take Matchbox to even greater achievements.”
As managing director of Matchbox, which is headquartered in Sydney with offices in Melbourne, Adelaide and Auckland, New Zealand, McKinnon will oversee all strategic and operational aspects of the company.
His remit is to “help grow [Matchbox’s] slate of first-class Australian content with global appeal, expand the company’s global footprint by fostering creative and commercial opportunities across international markets, and work with parent company NBCUniversal International Studios and partners such as founding member Tony Ayres and his new production company TAP,” a statement from the company said.
McKinnon joins Matchbox in December and effectively replaces Chris Oliver-Taylor, who was announced as the new CEO of FremantleMedia Australia earlier this year.
Matchbox, which launched in 2008 and is celebrating its first decade in business this year, develops and produces TV dramas and comedies, documentaries, animation and kids projects and feature films. In May 2011, NBCUniversal International Studios took a majority stake in the company and then acquired full ownership in January 2014.
Recent Matchbox productions include Glitch, Nowhere Boys, Safe Harbour and Wanted, produced for Australian broadcasters and Netflix.