Another TV great departs: ‘Foxtel true warrior’ Jim Buchan hands in his remote

Jim Buchan

Exclusive: The Jim Buchan photo archives and those Logie victory celebrations

Foxtel has seen another senior staff member call time on their career. This time it is group general manager factual Jim Buchan.

Just two months ago we learnt of the departure of Foxtel Group chief content & commercial officer Amanda Laing. One of her unenviable duties, before she departs, is to farewell others heading out the door before Laing does.

The current loss rate doesn’t match the people overboard of a couple of years ago when we reported on the departure of The Magnificent Seven. It doesn’t do the teams still working for the Foxtel Group good to make asides like “will the last one out turn out the lights”, but gee, they have lost some talent over the recent journey.

See also:
Colleagues farewell The Magnificent Seven after major Foxtel restructure

Foxtel executive shuffle: New operating model impacts Kayo, Binge, Foxtel Media


Jim Buchan

Jim Buchan and his The Good Cop colleagues in the winner’s room at 2019 Logies. Top: Buchan enjoying the breeze on the Beach at Cannes in 2022. Might be a few less trips to the south of France on the immediate horizon.

Amanda Laing on Jim Buchan

It was Amanda Laing who explained to colleagues this week about Buchan’s departure.

I’m writing to let you know that after a remarkable 23 years at Foxtel, Jim Buchan has decided it’s time to hang up his boots and seek a new career challenge.

Jim’s immense contribution to Foxtel over his long career here is difficult to summarise.  He has led numerous channel launches, identified and acquired tens of thousands of hours of international programming from every part of the globe and commissioned ground-breaking local series.  His acclaimed local commissions include Kings Cross ER, Ron Iddles: The Good Cop, Crimes That Shook Australia, Mega Truckers, Aussie Pickers, Pawn Stars Australia, The Battle of Long Tan, four series of Coast Australia, The Pacific in the wake of Captain Cook and Aussie Inventions That Changed the World.

Jim’s many channel launches, pivots and rebrands include the launch of the world’s first true crime channel, Crime + Investigation in 2005 as well as the Bio channel which ran for 14 years. More recently, of course, he launched the Docos and Real Life channels which, in typical Jim style, identified and programmed content which was wildly popular with our customers.

He has been a true warrior for Foxtel – hunting for great stories, driving hard bargains with suppliers and curating unmissable channels our audiences love.  He’s successfully fused an encyclopaedic knowledge of the factual genre with a profound understanding of what our customers crave.

Along the way, Jim has worked with, mentored, driven and celebrated with many people from across the business. His hilarious and self-deprecating sense of humour, his candour, honesty, warmth and laughter are the stuff of legend. I know he has many close friendships here at Foxtel that will continue long into the future.

Please join me in congratulating Jim on all that he has achieved and thanking him for everything he has done for the business.

Jim Buchan with Foxtel programming colleague Fleur Fahey

Jim Buchan led six Foxtel channel brand launches

Jim Buchan sent these comments to staff and later posted some of it on his social media accounts:

It’s time for me to “call time” on my fantastic career at Foxtel.

After a remarkable 23-and-a-half-year journey, this experience has been nothing short of amazing, filled with unforgettable moments, outstanding teams, and incredible achievements.

I am immensely proud of the accomplishments we’ve all achieved together, from pioneering channel launches to ground-breaking content creation. Our collective efforts have not only shaped the media landscape but also left an indelible mark on the industry.

Throughout the years, I’ve had the honour of leading six channel brand launches, countless content acquisitions and local commissions, always alongside exceptional colleagues and partners. Some of my most cherished accomplishments include launching the world’s first 24-hour true crime channel, Crime + Investigation, back in 2005, where TV Logie Awards were won for groundbreaking local commissions: Kings Cross ER: St Vincent’s Hospital and Ron Iddles: The Good Cop.

CI Channel

Jim Buchan

Commissioning long-lasting series franchises that have withstood the test of time in Crime Investigation Australia and Crimes That Shook Australia, all of which now also appear on the free-to-air TV network broadcasters.

Representing the launch of a Biography channel (Bio) that ran for 14 years was wonderful.

In 2012, I had the privilege of leading the launch of A&E, a channel that would go on to produce several first-of-their-kind male-skewing local reality series, including Mega Truckers, Aussie Pickers, Pawn Stars Australia and Demolition Man series that were also seen by international audiences.

More recent highlights include my team launching (Fox) Docos and Real Life channels that have been the “icing on the cake,” as I‘ve witnessed these resonate with our subscribers in ways I could only dream of.

Aside from True Crime, my passion has always been aligned to The History Channel, where we realised acclaimed local commissions like The Battle of Long Tan, four series of Coast Australia, The Pacific in the Wake of Captain Cook with Sam Neill, and Aussie Inventions That Changed the World, to name a few.

Throughout my time at Foxtel, learning to master content curation in order to capture our audience’s attention through key acquisitions has brought me immense joy and satisfaction. Developing key industry contacts involved in great collaborations, to meeting great talent, and forming lifelong relationships and friendships have all been a wonderful adventure that I will treasure.

As I reflect on my time at Foxtel, I am eternally grateful for the exceptional individuals I have had the pleasure of working alongside. I extend my deepest appreciation to all of you.

So here ends a special time for me. It’s now time for new challenges.

Opening the Jim Buchan photo album

Accepting the TV Week Logie for Kings Cros ER

With the exec producer of King Cross ER, Jon McAvoy

Buchan with Ron Iddles and Sam Neill

Buchan with Ron Iddles and Sam Neill

Logies night 2018: Buchan with colleagues that include Hannah Barnes, Stephen Baldwin and Duane Hatherley

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