New BBC Worldwide exec to drive original content commissions

Editor ©RapidTVNews | 25-11-2011

As part of its drive to create high quality and distinctive original content for its international portfolio, BBC Worldwide Channels has appointed a new VP of Commissioning.
Former UKTV executive Tracy Forsyth will fill the new role, reporting to David Weiland, Senior Vice President, Programming and TV Channels, and will oversee the commissioning and co-production of programmes for BBC Knowledge, BBC Entertainment, BBC Lifestyle, BBC HD and UK.TV, the BBC commercial arm’s general entertainment channel in Australia and New Zealand.

Commenting on the appointment, Weiland said: “I’m delighted to welcome Tracy at a crucial – and very exciting – stage of our commissioning strategy. BBC Worldwide Channels is committed to growing the number of high quality and distinctive original commissions for the international portfolio. Tracy brings a wealth of experience to the role and I have every confidence that she will build on the progress we’ve made so far, and create new opportunities for the business as we diversify from a largely acquisitions-based content pipeline.”
Forsyth boasts over 17 years of experience in making and commissioning programmes, most recently Commissioning Editor for UKTV, working across its factual and entertainment channels in the UK, commissioning a number of channel-defining shows for the portfolio. Prior to that she worked as a Commissioning Editor for the BBC’s Daytime and Early Peak schedules, and has also held roles at Talkback Television and, significantly maybe, BBC Worldwide Productions in New York.
The new role will begin in January 2012 and Forsyth will be tasked with working with independent producers in the UK and internationally, as well as the BBC’s own production departments, to create a stream of programme content. So far in 2011, BBC Worldwide Channels has commissioned over 20 hours of original content for the international portfolio, from a roster of respected production houses such as BBC Bristol, Lonely Planet TV, Southern Star and Freehand.
In addition to acting as BBC Worldwide’s Executive Producer on all new commissions to ensure that they meet the company’s editorial and production criteria, Forsyth will also lead all programme negotiations. This will ensure, BBC Worldwide claimed, that the company extracts maximum value from BBC Worldwide Channels’ intellectual property.