Danny Cohen, controller of BBC youth channel BBC3, and BBC1 controller Jay Hunt are front-runners for the new role of Chief Creative Officer. I’m hearing that Cohen has the slight edge. David Abraham, CEO of Channel 4, has announced that TV and online are to be merged under a single Chief Creative Officer position. Channel 4 head Julian Bellamy will be interim CCO for now. Current TV and content director Kevin Lygo is leaving to become MD of ITV Studios. Still, there’s a long way to go. The CCO job has yet to be advertised.
Abraham has also announced that 25% of senior manager jobs are to be cut as part of a huge restructuring. This means reducing the headcount by a dozen executives out of 48, either through not filling posts or making redundancies. Abraham has conducted a month-long review of the business.
Merging TV and online is all part of the new Holy Grail, 360° commissioning across TV and online. Abraham says that C4 is “going further than any other broadcaster” integrating TV and new media. The move will blend a “multi-platform approach into the centre of the organisation, rather than leaving ‘new’ media in its own isolated silo”. In short, Abraham is showing that he “gets it.”
C4 cut 200 jobs towards the end of December 2008, leaving the broadcaster with fewer than 800 employees. I fear there will be more cuts to come, with at least another 100 employees going – either through voluntary redundancies, compulsory cuts and not filling vacant posts.