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Commissioning Editor - Documentaries

Please Note: The application deadline for this job has now passed.

Job Introduction

BBC Content brings together a portfolio of BBC Television channels, BBC iplayer and genres to drive creativity and ensure the channels work in a complimentary way while enhancing their distinctive position.

We commission a wide range of much-loved programmes each year across all of our channels.  This role is critical to delivering our strategy; responsible for both generating and developing bold ground-breaking ideas and working with both BBC Studios and the Independent Sector to commission content based on a deep understanding of audience needs and documentaries.

We are looking for two Commissioning Editors to join us on a 12 month fixed term and continuing basis within the Documentaries team in Factual.  Our content has a crucial role to play in helping us to make sense of an increasingly complex world, taking us right to the heart of the biggest and most challenging stories. We want BBC documentary series that matter now, and tell the stories that impact people lives today.

Role Responsibility

The work is diverse; you’ll be responsible for generating and developing creative ideas, working closely with the Commissioning Controllers, ensuring that your priorities and editorial strategy are aligned.  You’ll also inspire and engage BBC Studios and independent producers by articulating your editorial priorities, and work with them to create and develop ideas that meet our audiences’ needs.  You will need to be able to collaborate effectively with the commissioning team and other BBC departments, as well as hold and be able to build strong relationships with external partners and talent.

By providing creative leadership to the development process, you’ll encourage risk-taking and innovation, whilst maintaining expertise in your genre to identify trends and opportunities for outstanding content.

You’ll balance your previous editorial experience with ensuring programmes are quality compliant and that the financial slate you are accountable for is delivered successfully, and that the commissions demonstrate value for money, quality and originality.

The Commissioning Editor  will also be aware and be able to adapt quickly to changing audience behaviours, and the opportunities presented by Digital to reach beyond linear programming.

Are you the right candidate?

Essential to this role is someone who has extensive industry experience in documentary based television programme-making as well as expertise and pedigree across a range of content forms.

You will understand and are aware of the BBC’s commissioning priorities and can demonstrate a track record of producing successful content based on a thorough understanding of genre and audience needs.

You will have extensive experience in spotting and developing on and off screen talent, with a breadth and depth of contacts amongst programme-makers that will contribute to your success in this role.  You will deliver across a range of channels and platforms, and be able to take responsibility for the strength of your own creative pipeline.

With outstanding editorial judgement, your passion for the genre will be clearly visible along with the ability to enable creativity and innovation with those you work with.

You’ll be curious and analytical, able to identify key trends but also anticipate challenges and overcome them.  As a strong communicator you will be able to engage and inspire, particularly when presenting and speaking in public. Finally, you’ll be a leader, both creatively but also an ambassador of the BBC.

This is a fantastic opportunity to work for an organisation that is diverse, challenging and rewarding with the opportunity to shape the future of public service broadcasting.

Package Description

Grade 11/ Proposed Band F

Based in London

x2 roles available (x1 continuing role & x1 12 month FTC/attachment)

About the BBC

We don’t focus simply on what we do – we also care how we do it. Our values and the way we behave are important to us. Please make sure you’ve read about our values and behaviours in the document attached below. You’ll be asked questions relating to them as part of your application for this role.

The BBC is committed to building a culturally diverse workforce and therefore strongly encourages applications from underrepresented groups.  We are committed to equality of opportunity and welcome applications from individuals, regardless of their background.

The BBC is currently implementing a Career Path Framework which will result in employees being aligned to generic job titles and job descriptions. Consequently, successful applicants may be realigned to a slightly different job title shortly after joining the BBC. 

The BBC is committed to redeploying employees seeking suitable alternative employment within the BBC for different reasons and they will be given priority consideration ahead of other applicants.  Priority consideration means for those employees seeking redeployment their application will be considered alongside anyone else at risk of redundancy, prior to any individuals being considered who are not at risk


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