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ITV appoints Kate Barnes as director of content partnerships for streaming

UK commercial broadcaster ITV has appointed Kate Barnes from its production and distribution arm, ITV Studios (ITVS), as director of content partnerships for streaming ahead of the launch of ITVX.

Kate Barnes

Barnes started in the role this week, covering Laura Franses, who has been on maternity leave since July 15. She reports to media and entertainment content director Rosemary Newell and MD for streaming Rufus Radcliffe.

Barnes will take the lead on identifying and securing strategic content partnerships for ITVX, the free streaming service that is due to launch later this year with a vast library of programming.

The exec was most recently senior VP of global content in scripted at ITVS, heading drama acquisitions and investments, working with all ITVS scripted production labels internationally and seeking high-end projects from global third-party producers.

Titles Barnes has worked on include Cattleya’s Romulus, Mammoth Screen’s World on Fire, World Productions’ Bodyguard, Calamity Films’ Brassic and NARC’s Schitt’s Creek.

Meanwhile, ITVS has appointed Jemma Harvey to cover while Barnes takes up her new role. Harvey previously worked at BBC Studios as senior VP of sales and coproductions across its scripted business.

Last week, ITV also appointed streaming veteran Gidon Katz, previously at Now TV and Peacock and currently senior VP at Roku, as a non-exec director to “bring a digital and streaming perspective to the board,” the company said.

Prior to joining ITVS in 2015, Barnes was executive producer of TV at Xbox’s EMEA Studios, where she led the European initiative to develop original and interactive TV content for the Microsoft games console.

With over 20 years’ experience, Barnes has held several senior positions in the UK broadcasting industry, including channel controller of Channel 5’s sibling channels 5USA and 5*, where she oversaw the launch of shows such as Sons of Anarchy and Justified, and senior acquisitions executive at Sky One.

Barnes said: “The opportunity to work across AVoD, SVoD and FAST channels and to think about innovative ways we can work with other brands is hugely exciting. I can’t wait to get to work with the team and get out there to see some familiar faces.”


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