BBC announces factual commissioning appointments

MUMBAI: The BBC is undergoing a major change in its sytems and processes. One of the aims is to pave the way for a new, fairer one-stop shop commissioning system for in-house and independent producers alike. Therefore it has appointed three new commissioners for factual programmes across its four television channels in the UK.     

Emma Swain becomes the commissioning editor for specialist factual. She will be responsible for history, natural history and science; Adam Kemp will be the commissioning editor for Arts, Performance and Religion. Meanwhile, Richard Klein takes on the new role of commissioning editor for documentaries. The new team will take up their posts on 4 April 2005.

One post of commissioner of factual features remains vacant, and external applications will now be invited. Swain will commission factual features in the interim. The five new commissioning editors will commission their own part of the slate and will report to the controller of factual television Glenwyn Benson. He said, "I am very pleased to have been able to assemble such a strong, experienced and creatively bold team. Each of them will have direct responsibility for commissioning programmes from both BBC in-house production and independents, which will ensure that that everyone has direct and equal access to the commissioning process.

BBC television director Jana Bennett said: "This structure creates a simple one-stop shop and puts the best in-house and independent ideas in open competition. The factual restructure is integral to the significant overhaul of the BBC's commissioning system I announced last December, which has included restructuring of the Drama and Entertainment commissioning teams announced in recent weeks. It also prepares the BBC to introduce greater competitive space in its commissioning through the proposed Window of Creative Competition (Wocc).

"The new and streamlined commissioning structure for Television, together with our plans for new processes including developing faster turnaround times and greater information sharing with the creative community, will deliver audiences the richest content from the best programme makers."

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