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December 7, 2020 |

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BBC unveils “radical” restructure as channel controller roles axed

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Charlotte Moore

The UK’s BBC has unveiled a wholesale restructuring of its senior commissioning team as part of a “radical change” to focus its efforts on streaming service iPlayer.

The widely expected revamp includes the scrapping of the channel controller roles for BBC One, BBC Two and the BBC Four editor post.

They will be replaced by ‘director’ positions, with genre-focused execs able to commission programming without the need for a ‘second tick’ from a channel controller, meaning far less focus on which channel ‘slot’ a show might air in.

Patrick Holland

Streamlining for iPlayer

The rejig has been introduced by the BBC’s recently appointed chief content officer, Charlotte Moore, and will see several senior execs moving across to equivalent roles in the new-look structure.

BBC Two controller Patrick Holland moves into the director of factual position, while Shane Allen will continue to head up comedy.

Kate Phillips will focus on entertainment, having been in interim charge of BBC One over the past six months, while Piers Wenger will continue to lead on drama and Rose Garnett leads on film.

All become directors of their respective genres, and report into Moore, while BBC Three remains unchanged, with Fiona Campbell staying as controller.

She will retain a ‘commissioning tick’ and report to the newly created role of director of BBC iPlayer and channels, which is being filled by Dan McGolpin, who had previously overseen iPlayer.

He will have oversight of all of the programming and curation activity across BBC iPlayer and the channels, as well as acting as direct report for three other new roles.

These include a new ‘leadership role’ for iPlayer, and two portfolio editors who will work across BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Four, who together will help to implement windowing on channels and the streamer.

McGolpin’s team also includes head of portfolio scheduling, channel editor of daytime and early-peak, and head of programme acquisitions.

Tim Davie

Dynamic desires

The BBC described the structure as a “simpler, more streamlined system that will create greater flexibility to deliver world-beating, distinctive programmes for audiences, whether they want to watch them live or on-demand.”

Moore, who lost out to former BBC Studios CEO Tim Davie in the recent race to become the BBC director general, added that the changes – which will be formally introduced in April – would mean “a radical change” in the content is commissioned.

“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.”

The BBC restructure to focus on streaming follows similar moves from an array of other media giants over recent months, including US studios such as Disney, WarnerMedia and NBCUniversal, but also UK rivals ITV and Channel 4.

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