Alex Mahon explores the important role and relevance of Channel 4 in the broadcasting landscape at an increasingly competitive time.
All4 has grown in popularity in recent years with an increasing collection of box sets that users are able to watch on-demand, including Chewing Gum, National Treasure and Peep Show.
Testing of Channel 4’s new SVoD service, All4+ begins in December with a sample group participating in a beta test using a web-only version of the service.
The beta test will include offering the ad-free service to the sample group for £3.99 per month, the same price as ITV’s Hub+.
Alongside the new regional HQ in Leeds, Glasgow and Bristol will become new Creative Hubs for the broadcaster.
Leeds was chosen over the shortlisted cities Manchester and Birmingham following an extensive pitch process, with over 30 pitches from cities and regions across the UK assessed against Channel 4’s vision and objectives.
If Channel 4 was being set up for the first time today, “you would not plonk it in SW1,” observed Alex Mahon, its newish Chief Executive. She explained that she had an advantage coming in fresh to the London-based broadcaster in October 2017, when it needed a deal with government on a new national HQ and dispersing jobs to the regions.
As leader of one of the world’s largest media and entertainment companies, Bakish will share his views on global media trends, how Viacom is capitalising on shifts in consumer, technological and market dynamics, and his expectations for the future.
The announcement comes amid a slew of new commissions and announcements from the broadcaster, as Chief Executive Alex Mahon and Director of Programming Ian Katz, addressed Channel 4 staff about the future of the channel.
Katz revealed a five-point plan which, he believes, will secure the broadcaster against threats posed by competitors, and will ensure that Channel 4 retains its crown as the youngest-skewing public service channel in the world.
Among those aims was a renewed focus on comedy for the channel and its on-demand platform All4.
On 5 June, Channel 4’s Chairman, Charles Gurassa, announced that Alex Mahon, best known for her business deals alongside Elisabeth Murdoch at Shine, was to be the broadcaster’s seventh chief executive. When she arrives in the autumn, she will have to take a number of critical decisions that will require every bit of her famously big brain.