UKTV Restructures Senior Programming Team


Steve North and Richard Watsham have received new responsibilities for channels and content at UKTV and BBC Studios.

North, who currently oversees Dave, Gold, W and Yesterday, is becoming chief programming officer at UKTV and global director of content compliance at BBC Studios/UKTV. As such, he takes on full responsibility for UKTV’s portfolio of channel brands, managing the editorial direction and programming for each.

Watsham, formerly director of commissioning, becomes chief creative officer for UKTV and global director of acquisitions at BBC Studios/UKTV. He will oversee the content pipeline for the UKTV brands and takes on responsibility for the global acquisitions team, overseeing all content acquisition activity across BBC Studios’ branded services and UKTV’s channels.

UKTV CEO Marcus Arthur said, “Steve and Richard are already invaluable members of UKTV’s executive leadership team, and I’m delighted they are taking on these additional responsibilities. They both have incredible creative vision, alongside being highly strategic and business-minded, and in these new roles they will work closely together to help drive UKTV and BBC Studios towards further success.”

North said, “I am incredibly excited to be taking on this new role. We have an excellent editorial team at UKTV and I’m looking forward to bringing everyone together to ensure we continue to lead the way with our editorial strategy and creativity. Our combined compliance team is full of highly experienced and talented people, and I will continue do all I can to support them and maintain their position as an international leader in compliance decision making.”

Watsham added, “Uniting the proven and award-winning experience that already exists in both UKTV’s commissioning team and the UKTV/BBC Studios global acquisitions team is a huge opportunity. I’m passionate about increasing the quality of our content and strengthening our partnerships to ensure that we continue to serve our growing share of the commercial market, but also recruit new viewers to our linear and VOD platforms globally. For UKTV, taking a holistic approach to content and playing at all points of the acquisition/origination spectrum will be vital to our continued success. I can’t wait to get started.”

The restructure follows Adrian Wills stepping down from his role as general manager of global acquisitions for BBC Studios and drama and lifestyle for UKTV.