BBC Closes Director Of Factual, Arts & Classical Music Post, Shifts Entertainment Boss Kate Phillips To Director Of Unscripted

The BBC has officially closed the Director of Factual, Arts and Classical Music role following a botched interview process and instead promoted entertainment boss Kate Phillips to the newly-created Director of Unscripted post.

Following a months-long process, Deadline revealed last week that none of the final candidates in line to replace Patrick Holland as Director of Factual, Arts and Classical Music had been successful, with Chief Content Officer Charlotte Moore rethinking the very nature of the role.

Her solution, unveiled this afternoon, is to restructure by closing the post and shifting Entertainment Director Phillips to Director of Unscripted, bringing commissioning teams across entertainment, factual, arts and classical music, daytime, early-peak  and events into one commissioning unit.

A Head of Entertainment Commissioning will be recruited to effectively replace Phillips, who has been in post for around five years, overseeing the likes of Strictly Come Dancing and Top Gear. She used to be Creative Director of Formats for BBC Worldwide.

Reporting to Phillips in the new structure will be:

  • Head of Arts & Classical Music Commissioning Suzy Klein
  • Head of Daytime, Early Peak & Events Commissioning Lindsay Bradbury (acting)
  • Head of Documentaries, History & Religion Commissioning Clare Sillery
  • Head of Entertainment Commissioning to be advertised
  • Head of Natural History & Science Commissioning Jack Bootle
  • Head of Popular Factual & Factual Entertainment Commissioning Catherine Catton

The BBC said Phillips will “empower the respective Heads whilst ensuring the portfolio of commissions align to the agreed audience and supply objectives.”

Moore said: “Kate’s extensive experience working as Controller of BBC One, running Entertainment for the last 5 years and previously as Channel Executive for BBC One and BBC Three, Creative Director of Formats for BBC Worldwide and her years in production, makes her uniquely placed to lead across this role.

“She is an outstanding leader and manager with an exemplary track record in commissioning, working with suppliers and talent and she understands the critical and complex role Unscripted plays on both iPlayer and the channels.”

Phillips added: “This new role will allow our unscripted teams to not only do their best work creatively, but also collaborate more with each other, leading to exciting opportunities for all our on and off screen talent.”

Holland moved to Banijay late last month and has taken on a joint Chair/CEO role overseeing the French-headquartered superindie’s UK labels.

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