Channel 4 has announced its plans to streamline its commissioning structure with fewer genre departments and fewer layers of responsibility.
All of Channel 4’s creative and editorial decision making across linear, streaming and social will be brought together under Ian Katz, who will become Chief Content Officer.
Channel 4’s features commissioning responsibility will be moved to the Nations & Regions and current Head of Features & Format, Sarah Lazenby is leaving Channel 4 after nearly six years at the organisation. The existing Formats & Features slate will be taken on by other genre teams, including Factual Entertainment, Entertainment; and Features & Daytime – including responsibility for More4 commissioning – which will be led by Jo Street.
The currently-vacant role of Head of Specialist Factual will not be filled, with Danny Horan continuing to take responsibility for all factual programming across documentaries and specialist factual.
In total there will be then be seven genre commissioning Heads of department, two fewer than previously.
Kiran Nataraja, currently Head of Portfolio Management and Emma Hardy, Head of Commissioning Management, will take on broader roles, picking up some responsibilities from Kelly Webb Lamb who announced recently that she will be leaving later this year.
Kiran Nataraja will become Director of Content Strategy & Planning, which will combine her existing responsibilities for content investment, planning and scheduling across linear and streaming with the new addition of acquisitions. Nick Lee, currently Head of Series Acquisitions, will become Head of Acquisitions & International and will move from Commercial Affairs to report into Kiran. Kiran has also recently taken on responsibility for all content planning for All 4.
Emma Hardy will become Director of Commissioning Operations and will work closely with Ian Katz to optimise Channel 4’s commissioning processes, production relationships and talent management strategy. She will be recruiting for a new role of Head of Indie Relations whose focus will be on ensuring Channel 4 is a :responsive, collaborative and transparent creative partner.”
Head of Entertainment, Phil Harris will now report directly to Ian Katz alongside all the genre commissioning Heads: Head of Factual Entertainment, Alf Lawrie; Head of Features & Daytime, Jo Street; Head of Factual, Danny Horan; Head of News, Current Affairs & Sport, Louisa Compton; Head of Drama, Caroline Hollick; and Head of Comedy, Fiona McDermott.
Karl Warner will become Head of Youth & Digital with a brief to commission young skewing content that will drive both E4 and all digital platforms. He will also be responsible for 4Music and the Box channels. He will recruit for a new Head of Digital Commissioning role, reporting to him with responsibility for social commissioning and a new commissioning role focused on young-skewing shows for E4 and All 4
Chief Content Officer, Ian Katz said: “As we shift our focus to digital viewing, we need a structure which allows us to make joined-up decisions about all platforms and all types of content, originated and acquired, in the round. These changes will help us to do that and I hope they’ll also make us a simpler and speedier creative partner to work with.”
Chief Executive Alex Mahon will have six direct reports comprising the organisation’s CEO Committee: Chief Operating Officer, Jonathan Allan and Chief Content Officer, Ian Katz, who both sit on the Channel 4 Board; as well as Chief Marketing Officer, Zaid Al-Qassab; Chief Revenue Officer, Verica Djurdjevic; Director of Film 4, Daniel Battsek; and Director of Commercial Affairs, Martin Baker.
The organisation’s Executive Management Board will include all the CEO Committee in addition to Finance Director, Vince Russell; Managing Director, Nations & Regions, Sinead Rocks; Chief Product Officer, Dave Cameron; Director of Strategy & Consumer Insight, Khalid Hayat; Director of People, Kirstin Furber and Director of Communications, James MacLeod.
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