Channel 4 has appointed Rebecca Thompson to the newly created role of Head of Indie Relations.

The broadcaster has also announced that evaluations will be made of how it deals with indies, including its commissioning process, with a view to speeding up decision-making and improving communication with producers.

Chief Content Officer Ian Katz announced the appointment of Thompson as Head of Indie Relations, a new role which will focus on improving producers’ experience of working with the channel.

Her role will also help support C4’s drive to commission more from the Nations and Regions and manage the Emerging Indie Fund. She will report into Director of Commissioning Operations, Emma Hardy.

Based in Glasgow, Thompson joins Channel 4 from leading FOCUS, a project offering business development opportunities for film and TV companies in Scotland.

Her previous roles include founding and running both Hot Tap Media, a digital production company, and Social Screen. She was previously a digital producer at KEO Films and a Commissioning Editor at Channel 4. She will take up her position as Head of Indie Relations later this month.

The appointment comes as Channel 4 said its latest annual Indie Survey of nearly 200 independent production companies – a survey undertaken to identify issues faced by the indie production community – has revealed “significant improvements” in their experiences of dealing with Channel 4.

But it also identified three key areas where more work is needed: more streamlined communications; more clarity on creative vision; and speed of response.

The online survey, hosted by YouGov in March, invited production companies across the UK to give their view on what it’s like working with Channel 4 in terms of developing an idea through to the final editorial decision.

The results showed that although issues such as securing a follow-up meeting had greatly improved, getting speedy final decisions on a commission remains a priority.

The survey also showed a desire for clearer steers in terms of what programme ideas Channel 4 is seeking and a communication process which gives more consolidated feedback on programme pitches.


Jon Creamer

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