BBC Studios Signs Dedicated Head Of Branded Entertainment To Oversee Ad-Funded Programing Push

EXCLUSIVE: BBC Studios Productions is pushing further into the ad-funded programing (AFP) space by hiring a dedicated Head of Branded Entertainment.

Kate Norum will join from Sky in the newly-created role next week, where she will aim to develop more BBC Studios’ shows that are sponsored and part-funded by brands.

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Recent examples include Channel 4 double The Great Home Transformation, which was backed by IKEA, and Cook Clever, Waste Less with Prue and Rupy, sponsored by Hellmann’s mayonnaise. The production outfit has also made the likes of Hyundai-sponsored 2045: Memories of the Future for global commercial channel BBC World News.

Reporting to Director of Digital and Business Development Helen Pendlebury, Norum, who joins after a three-year stint as Sky Branded Content Controller, will work closely with BBC Studios’ factual and format teams to spot opportunities.

In recent years, AFP has been a growing trend due to the decline of broadcaster budgets and increase in costs – with producers needing to find investment from elsewhere – and this is only set to worsen with the impending cost-of-living crisis.

“BBC Studios’ reputation for creating world class content and forging hugely successful partnerships is second to none and I’m excited to get started and take the ad-funded business to even greater heights,” said Norum.

Pendlebury said Norum arrives “at a key moment of growth for our business as we build on the successes we’ve had to date in the branded space.”

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