Media: Radio 4 returns to genre editors

BBC Radio 4 has appointed programme commissioning editors along genre lines, in a reversal of changes introduced by the station’s outgoing controller James Boyle.

BBC Radio 4 has appointed programme commissioning editors along

genre lines, in a reversal of changes introduced by the station’s

outgoing controller James Boyle.



General factual programmes will now be commissioned by Jane Ellison,

currently commissioning editor, mornings. Her responsibilities will

include intellectual discussion show Start the Week, Woman’s Hour and

Desert Island Discs.



Consumer programmes in her brief include consumer affairs show You and

Yours, Moneybox, the Food Programme, features slots and daily news

programmes.



Specialist factual programmes will come under Andrew Caspari, currently

commissioning editor, evenings. He will commission shows including

Westminster Hour, documentary strand File on Four, media shows such as

the Message and Feedback, and history science and arts shows.



Entertainment and Leisure will be overseen by Caroline Raphael, who

currently commissions the afternoon. Shows within her remit include John

Peel’s Home Truths and Book at Bedtime. The drama commissioning editor

has yet to be appointed.



The changes will be introduced gradually over the next few weeks, before

the next round of commissioning begins.



When Boyle was appointed to head the station in 1996, the BBC was

undergoing a restructure to separate the commissioning and production of

shows. Boyle decided to scrap commissioning by genre, and instead, he

appointed ’day-part’ editors, who commissioned for sections of the

day.



However, following a review of radio commissioning instigated by the

BBC’s director of radio, Jenny Abramsky, who was appointed last year,

the station is returning to genre-based commissioning.



Boyle announced his retirement from the BBC this week. He initiated a

radical shake-up of Radio 4 when he took over the station in 1996. He

leaves this spring after 25 years at the corporation.



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