New remits for BBC Studios & UKTV execs in senior restructure

L-R: Richard Watsham & Steve North

UKTV has handed expanded remits to senior executives Steve North and Richard Watsham, increasing their responsibilities for channels and content across UKTV and BBC Studios, following the exit of long-serving executive Adrian Wills.

North has been promoted to chief programming officer, UKTV and global director of content compliance, BBC Studios/UKTV, while Watsham has been named chief creative officer, UKTV and global director of acquisitions, BBC Studios/UKTV.

Taking on their new responsibilities in November, the execs will work in tandem, overseeing the editorial direction of the UKTV network and the content strategy across all of UKTV’s channel brands.

North currently oversees Dave, Gold, W and Yesterday as genre general manager for UKTV’s Comedy & Entertainment channels, and will take on responsibility for UKTV’s full portfolio of channel brands, managing the editorial direction and programming for each.  He will also continue to manage the combined BBC Studios and UKTV global compliance team.

Currently UKTV’s director of commissioning, Watsham will now also oversee the content pipeline servicing UKTV’s brands and, alongside his UKTV commissioning remit, he will assume responsibility for BBC Studios’ and UKTV’s global acquisitions team, overseeing all content acquisition activity across BBC Studios’ Branded Services and UKTV’s portfolio of channels.

The comes after Wills stepped down from his role as general manager of global acquisitions for BBC Studios, and Drama & Lifestyle for UKTV.  He has been at UKTV for over 25 years and is credited with overseeing the launch of Drama in 2013, as well as the channels that became Alibi, Yesterday and Eden.

He has led UKTV’s acquisitions department since 2017, becoming general manager of global acquisitions for BBC Studios and UKTV in 2020.

“Steve and Richard are already invaluable members of UKTV’s executive leadership team, and I’m delighted they are taking on these additional responsibilities,” said UKTV CEO Marcus Arthur.

“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.”

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