BBC Names Portfolio Editors For Flagship Channels Under New Structure
Almost four months after the BBC reformed its television division, the corporation has appointed the two leads for its most prominent channels.
Syeda Irtizaali and Jo Smith have been tapped as the two new Portfolio Editors working across BBC One and BBC Two and Four. Irtizaali will take on BBC One, while Smith will manage BBC Two and Four. They will start their new roles on April 12.
Chief content officer Charlotte Moore introduced the new structure for BBC Television in December — a revamp that restructured the Beeb’s television division accordingly around a new iPlayer-focused strategy, coupled with plans to scrap channel controller positions and empower the broadcaster’s genre chiefs.
Both Irtizaali and Smith will report directly to Dan McGolpin, director of BBC iPlayer and channels, who will bring together all of the programming and curation activity across iPlayer and the channels.
The executives will help shape the editorial strategy and priorities for the channels to ensure they remain as distinctive brands within the portfolio. This will involve collaboration with the genre directors to commission programming while supporting the channel schedules.
“In Syeda and Jo we have two passionate and inspired leaders who will ensure that BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Four continue to progress as modern, relevant and much-loved channels,” said McGolpin. “I’m really excited for the future as we bring together the channels and iPlayer as one team to serve the audience across broadcast platforms and the internet. We can move quickly as viewing habits change and, working together with the genre commissioning teams, we will ensure that the programs always come first.”
Irtizaali joined the BBC in February 2020 as commissioning editor in entertainment, where she has overseen brands including “Top Gear” and “Masterchef” and commissioned new shows including “Jack Whitehall’s Sporting Nation,” “Bamous” and “Peter Crouch Save Our Summer.” Prior to that, she was a commissioning editor at Channel 4 responsible for shows including “Alan Carr: Chatty Man,” “Million Pound Drop,” “The Big Narstie Show” and “The Last Leg.”
Syeda started her career as a journalist in BBC news. She then went on to work as a producer and executive producer in entertainment and factual entertainment across many independent production companies including Monkey, Planet 24, Diverse, At It and Brighter.
Smith has been executive editor for BBC Three since 2019, where she has been a key part of the team implementing BBC Three’s iPlayer first commissioning strategy.
Alongside this, Smith has executive produced shows including “Hot Property” and “Fight for First: Excel esports.” Smith joined the BBC in 2018 as an executive producer. Prior to joining, she worked on many popular factual and factual entertainment titles including “24 Hours in A&E,” “One Born Every Minute” and “Embarrassing Bodies.” Jo has also worked in the digital space for many years working with Google and YouTube and large brands including BMW, ASOS and Johnson and Johnson.
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