Channel 4 has appointed Newsnight editor Ian Katz as its new director of programmes.
The surprise appointment of Katz, who has only worked in television since 2013, was announced by new Channel 4 CEO Alex Mahon.
Katz was previously Deputy Editor of The Guardian.
Katz will join Channel 4 in January. He succeeds Ralph Lee who has been Interim Chief Creative Officer since the departure of Jay Hunt in September 2017. Lee has agreed to stay on in post until the end of the year.
Mahon said: “Ian is an inspirational leader who assiduously builds and nurtures talented and empowered teams. He has fantastic instincts and intelligence, huge editorial strength and is a proven creative and digital innovator, who lives and breathes the Channel 4 values.”
Ian Katz said: “I’m impossibly excited to be joining a broadcaster whose unique combination of innovation, risk-taking and elan I have admired for decades as a viewer – and more recently as a frequently envious rival. Channel 4’s deeply held values and relentlessly challenging sensibility have never been more important or relevant and I feel incredibly privileged to play a part in shaping the next stage of its remarkable journey.”
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