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
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
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.