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BBC axes channel controller roles

The BBC has confirmed a “radical” re-organisation of its television division that will see linear channel controller roles replaced by directors focusing on genre commissions.

Charlotte Moore

The changes, led by the BBC’s chief content officer Charlotte Moore, will see the end of existing channel controller roles for BBC1 and BBC2 and the BBC4 editor post, while online-only BBC3 remains unchanged.

The current interim channel structure will continue to be in place until the new roles are filled and the new model introduced in April 2021.

BBC2 controller Patrick Holland will move into the director of factual position, and Shane Allen (comedy), Rose Garnett (film), Kate Phillips (entertainment) and Piers Wenger (drama) will all become directors of their respective genres.

The shake-up comes after Moore, whose previous responsibilities included being controller of BBC1, took on her current expanded role, overseeing commissioning for all BBC TV channels and the BBC iPlayer, multi-platform commissioning and production of all children’s and education content.

Cassian Harrison, former channel editor at BBC4, moved to a new role at the pubcaster’s commercial and production arm BBC Studios earlier this year.

The new system marks the end of the ‘twin tick’ between genres and channels for commissions, whilst the remit and responsibility of the genre directors is expanded.

The new system is designed to break down the borders between live and on-demand by reflecting changing audience behaviour, fuelling the growth of BBC iPlayer and strengthening the pubcaster’s content portfolio.

Dan McGolpin will serve as the new portfolio director for BBC iPlayer and channels, tasked with bringing together all of the programming and curation activity across BBC iPlayer and the channels. All six directors will report to Moore.

Meanwhile, three new roles have been created reporting to the portfolio director, a new leadership role for iPlayer and two portfolio editors, one working across BBC1 and the other BBC2 and BBC4.

BBC3 remains unchanged, with Fiona Campbell as controller retaining a commissioning tick and reporting to McGolpin.

The head of portfolio scheduling, channel editor of daytime and early peak and head of programme acquisition will all sit within the new portfolio team.

Moore said: “The new structure will mean a radical change in the way we commission content, so that the BBC delivers more value to all audiences. BBC iPlayer will be at the very heart of our offer, but our channels are what set us apart and will continue to be critical to our success.

“We must feel indispensable to audiences across the UK and these changes will help us to commission the most creative and ambitious programmes – reinforcing the BBC’s position as the world’s greatest broadcaster and the most dynamic partner for talent.”


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