Channel 4’s Chief Content Officer Ian Katz has written to supplier indies to reassure them about the broadcaster’s current commissioning slowdown, saying the current situation is ‘cyclical’ and “normal service will resume soon.”

In the email to indies, he said has was “acutely aware” of the current tough situation for production companies and freelancers “as many broadcasters and platforms have reined back on commissioning spend.”

He said this was down to ad revenues being “significantly” reduced in the first half of the year but remained “confident that advertising spend will pick up later in the year, and we want to ensure that we are well placed to dial up commissioning once conditions improve.”

In the short term, he said, “regrettably we’ve had to rest or not proceed with a small number of shows before they were financially greenlit” and promised a package of measures to help freelancers including “training opportunities through 4Skills and a new mentoring programme. We will also work together with our fellow broadcasters to do what we can to support freelancers and keep them in the industry.”

Katz confirmed that over the summer months, Channel 4 would be “commissioning relatively little … outside of current affairs and digital” and will use the time to develop ideas with indies to bring on “the next generation of big ideas for 2024 and beyond. In September we’ll host a series of briefings across all genres laying out what we’re looking for in 2024 and beyond.”

Jon Creamer

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