BBC appoints new controller to bring together TV channels and iPlayer
James R | On 19, Jan 2016
The BBC has appointed Charlotte Moore as the joint controller for all of the broadcaster’s TV channels and iPlayer.
The newly created role is part of a reorganisation that the BBC says will offer “a simplified and more co-ordinated strategy across BBC Television’s channel portfolio”. The move, though, is a historic one, scrapping the individual controller posts for BBC One and Two, which have been in place for decades.
Kim Shillinglaw, who is currently the joint Controller BBC Two and Four, has decided to leave the BBC after also applying for the job. Her previous post will now be closed.
Moore’s appointment as Controller, TV Channels and iPlayer, will make her the creative, editorial and strategic lead for BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four and BBC iPlayer.
It highlights the growing importance of iPlayer within the corporation, as it continues to move into digital territory. The BBC aims to spark “greater collaboration and allowing simpler movement of ideas and talent across the portfolio”.
The news arrives ahead of BBC Three’s transformation into an online-only channel, led by Damian Kavanagh, whose post will not be affected. Victoria Jaye, Head of TV Content for iPlayer, will now report to Moore, alongside the heads of Daytime, BBC Four and the new role of Editor, BBC Two.
Charlotte, who brought The Great British Bake Off to BBC One, will continue to lead BBC One and report to Mark Linsey, Acting Director of Television.
“This role will allow her to take a view across channels to drive distinctiveness, quality and risk-taking even further… ensuring audiences get the best programmes, however and wherever they choose to watch,” says Linsey.
The BBC says providing a single point of content will also create a more streamlined commissioning system, and, hopefully, lead to faster decision-making. Indeed, the creators of BBC iPlayer’s original films, Fear Itself and The Rack Pack, have both told us that speedy decision-making was one of the benefits of working with BBC iPlayer, alongside a greater creative freedom than on traditional channels.
The BBC has always had a genre-led approach to commissioning content, with Genre Commissioning Controllers talking to a Channel Controller to discuss a title’s suitability. In an age where Netflix operates by analysing algorithms to determine popular genres for its original production team, it will be interesting to see how Moore’s appointment alters the Beeb’s overall process.
“A united vision across the portfolio will encourage greater ambition and diversity of output, more creative freedom and quicker decision-making,” comments Moore.
“I’m honoured to lead the BBC’s channel portfolio into the future at such a significant time. The creative opportunities this new approach brings will ensure the BBC keeps pace with our rapidly changing media industry,” she adds.
“It is more important than ever for audiences and programme-makers that we have a clearly defined sense of purpose for each channel, to ensure we deliver even higher quality and more distinctive content.”
The reorganisation is also part of the corporation’s overall cost-cutting measures. It follows other recent moves to simplify structures, such as the appointment of Matthew Postgate as Chief Technology Officer, bringing together BBC Digital, Engineering and BBC Worldwide roles.