Click here to revoke the Cookie consent

Commissioning Editor, Specialist Factual

  • Channel 4
  • Channel 4 Bristol or Glasgow offices.
  • 09/02/2022

Job Description

Job Title: Commissioning Editor, Specialist Factual
Reports to: Head of Specialist Factual
Department: Commissioning
Location: This role will be based in the Channel 4 Bristol or Glasgow offices.

Department Description

The Specialist Factual department seeks to explore and explain the world, and makes us think about it differently. The Specialist Factual genre programmes encompass all the traditional SF subjects - history, science, arts, religion - but could also include anthropology, psychology, criminology, economics, engineering. Specialist factual explores how the world works and investigates important topical issues and stories to reveal something new, or deliver a new take in all it does. Its ambition is for high-impact and high-rating popular formats and returning series, impactful single films and series, bold one-off events or pieces and factual theatre, to innovate with form and to develop new and key talent.   

The department has a number of big hits and returning series including SAS: Who Dares Wins, Grayson’s Art Club and the Guy Martin series. Gogglebox and The Secret Life of 4, 5 and 6 Year Olds originated in Specialist Factual. There are high-impact singles that generate headlines and debate such as 100 Vaginas, Me and My Penis, Grenfell: The Untold Story, Superkids: Breaking Away from Care, as well as Secret History singles such as The Unremembered: Britain’s Forgotten War Heroes and Diana: The Truth Behind the Interview, and series such as Empire State of Mind, Murder in the Car Park, Putin: A Russian Spy Story, and Trump: An American Dream. The department has been known for one-off events, live or otherwise, such as Drugs Live, Richard III: The Reburial and The Plane Crash. 


To commission and manage delivery of high-quality, innovative special factual series, singles, events and formats. Bring original thinking to Specialist Factual programming that is distinctively Channel 4, demonstrate creative flair, and a desire to make fantastic, popular television that is bold, entertaining and makes waves.   
  • Originate, develop, commission and maintain high quality and innovative specialist factual output, thinking about both linear and digital priorities
  • Communicate commissioning needs and strategy to the indie community and beyond
  • Independently initiate, develop, inspire and manage positive, creative relationships with a wide range of independent producers and production companies to ensure the development of innovative and challenging programmes
  • Identify and nurture, new on and off screen talent, from a variety of perspectives and backgrounds championing diversity
  • Work effectively with other departments of the channel including legal and compliance, press, marketing and scheduling
  • Demonstrable success at Executive Producer, Series Producer or Commissioning Editor level, or an outstanding track record in delivering factual television
  • An understanding of contemporary specialist factual television at the highest level
  • Understanding of digital landscape and commissioning
  • Strong track record in production and the ability to exert editorial control while keeping teams on-side
  • Proven ability of overseeing the process of producing a programme after it is commissioned through development, production and post production stages
  • Demonstrable experience of a high degree of editorial judgement I the execution of programmes, exceptional personal integrity and insight into the Channel 4 brand and values in relation to the programme genre
  • Extensive knowledge and understanding of recent UK broadcast output, audience, schedule , presentation and strategic vision
  • Demonstrable experience of inspiring, leading and managing teams
  • An instinct for popular television
  • Proven ambition to commission ground-breaking television and win major awards
  • A keen understanding of the UK production sector
  • Demonstrable experience of conducting and maintaining a strong network of external relationships within independent production companies with emphasis on on-screen and off-screen diversity
  • Strong contacts with key stakeholders and the wider creative community
  • Proven record in championing diversity of thought within programming
  • Demonstrated excellent experience and understanding of financial, legal and compliance issues around television production, including OFCOM regulations
  • Proven experience of how the budgets are planned for a television programme and how this relates to the commissioning process
  • Understanding of the opportunities and challenges presented by new platforms and viewing behaviours
  • Ability to build strong relationships within Commissioning, Marketing, Press, Legal and Compliance
  • Strong decision making and problem-solving skills
Desirable Experience and Skills
  • Specialist knowledge of one or more Specialist Factual sub-genres
  • Knowledge of international and co-production markets