Channel 4 Cut Backs
Channel 4 has revealed they are to axe 25 senior management roles out of the current 48 employed by the commercial broadcaster.
Recently appointed chief executive David Abraham, who carried out a review of the network’s structure, has brought about the changes. Channel 4 are reportedly achieving this by not re-filling vacant roles and carrying out a small number of sackings.
However it isn’t all cut-backs as Abraham reveals a new position of Chief Creative Officer who will preside over a new department for creative content. As well as a couple of other positions created for the re-structured Channel 4 including a Director of Audience Technologies.
The changes are claimed to make the broadcaster a more “audience-focused” service and to enhance the Channel 4 brands. Abraham believes that by putting the commissioning and content teams together this will be achieved.
If the new stucture sees the executives taking television decisions on their own back, it will be met with some praise. A lot of television commentators believe that focus groups and opinion research – before programmes air – have proved to only provide networks with “flops”. The days when commercial television was at its most popular was when a small group of leaders decided what to screen. The likes of Tyne Tees’ Black brothers, LWT’s Greg Dyke and Michael Grade and ATV’s Lew Grade and Val Parnell took production ideas and if they liked them ran with them, no research, no focus groups – gut instinct. This format saw some of the most popular and long running shows in history air – something television is lacking of today.
The future success of Channel 4 remains to be seen, however it is a network with a vastly more respected brand than ITV1, and continues to provide a mix of rating-chasing programmes alongside quality “public service” productions – something others in the commercial public service sector have failed to do in recent years.