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Commissioning Editor - Popular Factual (Bristol)

Posted: 13 May 2019 Closes: 27 May 2019
Bristol Competitive
Variable 5171

Job Title: Commissioning Editor Popular Factual
Reports to: Head of Factual Entertainment and & Head of Features and Formats
Department: Commissioning
Location: Bristol

DEPARTMENT DESCRIPTION
The Popular Factual department comprises of the Features & Formats and Factual Entertainment genres:

Channel 4 Factual Entertainment tells us something about the world – but crucially, in an entertaining way. Our primetime shows have scale and aim to grab
viewers with their ambition, whilst engaging them with warmth and humour. The Factual Entertainment Department is responsible for a wide range of popular
factual series and formats including Hunted, The Island, The Circle, 60 Days On The Streets, Gogglebox, Travel Man and Naked Attraction. We also make
popular ob-documentary series and one-offs, such as £1 House and 21 Kids and Counting.

The Features and Formats Department covers an incredibly diverse range of non-scripted genres and commissions across C4, E4 and More 4. Our commissioning
focus is on 8pm returnable formats for C4 like The Great British Bake Off franchise, Escape to The Chateau, Amazing Spaces, Love It or List It, Supervet,
Jamie’s Quick & Easy & Food Unwrapped, as well as peaktime E4 reality such as Celebs Go Dating, Don’t Tell The Bride and Made In Chelsea. We’re keen to
find more innovative formats like Flirty Dancing, noisy doc series like Mums Make Porn, and talent led formats like Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back. Crucially,
our shows need to have broad appeal but speak to a younger audience. We’re keen to re-imagine traditional lifestyle and features territories for the next
generation that is entertaining as well as content rich.

JOB PURPOSE
To oversee and editorially manage the department's programmes and to commission Popular Factual shows. The role involves working creatively with independent
production companies and liaising internally with many departments.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES
• Work with the Head of Popular Factual to ensure the delivery of this strategy across the UK, in line with the strategy to increase commissioning spend
in the Nations & Regions
• To originate, develop and commission innovative new programmes for the given popular factual slots, including working across Factual Entertainment and
Formats & Features
• To deliver programmes on time and on budget
• To generate ideas and identify fresh territories and themes for exploration
• To initiate and manage positive, creative relationships with a wide range of indies to ensure a steady supply of ground breaking ideas
• To identify and nurture new on and off-screen talent, from a variety of perspectives and backgrounds
• To manage and quality control a wide range of often challenging programmes including returning series, overseeing and managing any complexities that
arise
• To broaden the range of Independent producers and on-screen talent we work with
• To work effectively with other parts of the Channel – e.g. legal and compliance, marketing, press, scheduling etc
• To work closely with Cross Platform to maximise the viewer experience and the impact of programmes across a variety of platforms

ESSENTIAL EXPERIENCE AND SKILLS

Technical & Professional Skills
• Must have worked at a minimum series producer level making or commissioning popular factual (Daytime, Factual Entertainment and Formats & Features)
shows which demonstrate a Popular Factual sensibility
• Strong experience of financial, legal and compliance issues around television production
• Good understanding of budgets for television programme and the commissioning process
• Deep insider knowledge of real world trends in terms of programmes, and entertainment and comedy in terms of on screen talent, in order to contribute
to the department’s overall strategy
• Will be required to demonstrate a high degree of editorial judgement in the execution of programmes, exceptional personal integrity and insight into
the Channel 4 brand and values
• Exceptional communication and influencing skills
• Good standard of education, preferably educated to a degree level
• Ability to generate and manage high volume of programmes
• Ability to proactively commission content for use across multiple channels – not just linear scheduled TV

Autonomy/Judgement/Decision Making
• Will be working in a different location to direct line manager so needs to be autonomous and proactively manage communications between national and
regional hubs and London to ensure continued effectiveness and efficiency
• Job requires decision-making concerning a broad variety of matters within own work area, and the job holder must be able to set their own priorities
• Job involves calculated risk taking, sound judgement and management of projects on behalf of the channel to guard against detrimental scenarios such
as allowing a highly publicised new show to be disliked by audiences and critics which would reflect poorly on the Channel’s reputation
• Guidance on work issues is typically met by weekly one on one catch ups with line managers and bouncing ideas and issues at weekly departmental meetings
and with relevant heads of department across Commissioning.
• Constraints on doing the job can be financial so job holder needs to be both pragmatic and creative solutions to offset financial constraints to make
sure we as a Channel continue to commission successful channel defining brands and avoid getting outbid by a rival broadcaster

Managing Resources
• Oversees the process of producing a programme after it is commissioned through a creative process mainly in the edit with the producer/director at the
commissioned independent production company
• Determines budgets for projects alongside Commercial Affairs with overall responsibility resting with Commissioning Head

Relationship Management
• Conducts and maintains good relationships with independents producing programmes for the Channel. Networking is a significant part of the role.
• Keeps abreast of all new talent in genre and stay one step ahead of immediate competitors
• Required to handle conflicting viewpoints and gain consensus for the Channel during the editorial process of commissioned programmes with independents

Complexity/Problem Solving
• Job holder may face a number of unpredictable and unique problems e.g. a ground breaking show may raise problems across the spectrum of editorial, legal,
press, marketing, publicity and independent company liaison
• High degree of creativity required when developing ideas and problem solving with highly demanding and unpredictable talent and production companies on
programme content
• Role holder will need to assess the impact of any contentious material on the general public

Business Impact/Strategic Perspective
• Role impacts on short to medium term business targets and plans for programmes at least a year in advance whilst maintaining the flexibility to act
swiftly on exclusivity deals, cultural climate, trends and opportunities
• Factual Entertainment forms an important part of the Channel’s programming strategy and so impacts heavily on the perception and reputation of the
Channel, its ratings and advertising
• Legal, compliance and financial issues e.g. OFCOM regulations on programming have a huge impact on the role
• Working with the Head of Popular Factual to help drive the increase in Creative spend in the nations and regions
• Working simultaneously with the Managing Director of the Nations & Regions to deliver on the growth of the regional presence and perception of
Channel 4

Channel 4

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