Ian Katz appointed Channel 4 Director of Programmes


Channel 4 today announced the appointment of Ian Katz as Director of Programmes.

Ian is currently Editor of BBC’s Newsnight and was previously Deputy Editor of The Guardian.

Alex Mahon, Channel 4’s CEO said: “Ian is an inspirational leader who assiduously builds and nurtures talented and empowered teams. He has fantastic instincts and intelligence, huge editorial strength and is a proven creative and digital innovator, who lives and breathes the Channel 4 values.”

Ian Katz said: “I’m impossibly excited to be joining a broadcaster whose unique combination of innovation, risk-taking and elan I have admired for decades as a viewer - and more recently as a frequently envious rival. Channel 4’s deeply held values and relentlessly challenging sensibility have never been more important or relevant and I feel incredibly privileged to play a part in shaping the next stage of its remarkable journey.”

Ian will join Channel 4 in January. He succeeds Ralph Lee who has been Interim Chief Creative Officer since the departure of Jay Hunt in September 2017, and who has agreed to stay on in post until the end of the year.

Ian Katz biography

Ian is an experienced creative leader and journalist with a proven track record of creative and digital innovation, talent development and creative risk-taking. His career in journalism has spanned news and investigative current affairs as well as lifestyle journalism, sport, arts and entertainment.

Since 2013 Ian has been Editor of BBC Newsnight, where his successes include: the RTS Scoop of the Year winning investigation into Kids Company that led to its closure, a series of revelations about bullying within the Conservative party and, most recently, a widely praised ongoing investigation into the causes and handling of the Grenfell disaster.

He has brought key talent to the BBC, including: Laura Kuenssberg from ITV, Chris Cook from the FT and Katie Razzall and Rachel Jupp, now editor of Panorama, from Channel 4 News. He has also developed new on air talent including the BBC’s Islamabad correspondent, Secunder Kermani , and promoted BBC journalists including Emily Maitlis, Gabriel Gatehouse and Evan Davis.

He has shown a commitment to featuring a diverse range of opinions, launching the admired Viewsnight strand which has showcased voices from Richard Dawkins to Kehinde Andrews, Reni Eddo-Lodge, and Lionel Shriver.

Prior to the BBC, Ian worked for The Guardian in a wide variety of roles culminating in Deputy Editor and Head of News, from 2008-2013, when he oversaw the groundbreaking Wikileaks and phone hacking investigations, as well as leading The Guardian’s strategy to become a global leader on environment coverage. Throughout his time at The Guardian he had a strong record of developing new writers and commissioning editors, including: Hadley Freeman, Emma Brockes, Oliver Burkeman, Merope Mills, Amelia Gentleman, Esther Addley, and Malik Meer.

From 2006-2010 he was the Executive Editor responsible for the Saturday Guardian and Editorial Marketing and, from 1999-2006, was Features Editor of The Guardian, responsible for G2 and Arts. He is credited with widening G2’s appeal, particularly to younger readers, by bringing in columnists such as Charlie Brooker, Marina Hyde and Hadley Freeman and staging a number of high profile stunts such as giving a week of G2 covers to Turner Prize winning artists.

From 1997-1998 he was responsible for developing the Guardian’s first website and he played a central role in The Guardian's digital development over the subsequent 15 years.

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