Kate Ward has been appointed to the role of md Factual at BBC Studios Productions.
Reporting to Ralph Lee, ceo BBC Studios Productions, she will oversee all BBC Studios’ Factual production units and partnerships, taking responsibility for the overall strategy, creative health, pipeline, and production capability across the genre. Ward will join from Vice Media Group where she serves as president, Global Studios and Pulse Films.
The role, previously held by Tom McDonald, was expanded in February when BBC Studios brought together its production and content businesses to create a content powerhouse that could take a single strategic view across all BBC Studios’ productions, talent relationships and content investment.
McDonald left earlier this year for National Geographic where he is executive vp, global factual and unscripted content.
When she joins the BBC’s main commercial arm in February 2023, Ward’s purview will include BBC Studios Productions’ Natural History Unit, Documentary Unit and Science Unit, as well as factual indie relationships with indies such as Louis Theroux’s Mindhouse Productions, David Olusoga’s Uplands TV and James and Soleta Rogan’s Rogan Productions.
Ralph Lee, ceo BBC Studios Productions says: “Our Factual portfolio, with the Natural History, Docs and Science units at its heart and a range of brilliant indie partners, is critical to our success and growth, so I’m delighted to have attracted a leader of Kate’s calibre to the MD role. She has both an infectious passion for great documentary storytelling and a deep understanding of the content market. I can’t wait to start working with her and building on the success story of Factual at BBC Studios.”
Kate Ward commented: “Appetite for factual programming from both audiences and broadcasters alike continues to boom and I’m hugely excited to be part of Factual at BBC Studios as it is set to reach even greater heights. I am grateful for my time at Vice and proud of what we achieved together.”
At Vice Media, Ward was president, Vice Studios, the international television and feature film production arm of the youth media company, responsible for the development, production, and distribution of scripted, entertainment and factual content. During her tenure, Vice Studios produced a raft of programming including triple Oscar nominated and Sundance Grand Prix-winning documentary Flee, Hulu scripted series Tell Me Lies, FX documentary series Pride, Netflix’s Indian Predator and an upcoming documentary feature about President Zelensky directed by Sean Penn and Aaron Kaufmann.
Prior to joining Vice, Ward was president, International of Refinery29, the leading media and entertainment company focused on women, where she oversaw the company’s growth and expansion, including the launch of Refinery29’s first international edition. Before joining Refinery29, she spent eight years at the Endemol Shine Group in a variety of roes from associate director of Business Development to head of Commercial and Strategy at Shine TV.
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