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Dispatches editor departure revealed on same day as production company announcement


By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

January 10, 2012 | 2 min read

Channel 4 has confirmed the departure of Dispatches editor, Kevin Sutcliffe, on the same day that the first four production companies to be awarded contracts for the show were announced.

The Guardian reported that Sutcliffe is leaving to ‘look for new projects and challenges’.

Dorothy Byrne, Channel 4's head of news and current affairs, said: "Kevin was keen to oversee the tender process and help shape the new look Dispatches, now that is complete he feels the time is right to move on to new challenges.”

The companies which were awarded the contracts were: Blakeway Productions, October Films, Nine Lives Media and ITN Production. The contracts are to provide paid work and mentoring as part of the Channel 4 Investigative Journalism Training Scheme and output deals of delivering a minimum of eight programmes.

Byrne said: "The awarding of these contracts opens an exciting new chapter for Dispatches. We were delighted that 19 production companies applied and it was a difficult task to get it down to four. They all gave us excellent presentations on a range of very strong journalism which gives me great confidence in the future of Dispatches.

"Challenging, investigative, campaigning and revelatory journalism was at the heart of what they offered and all four embraced with enthusiasm the concept of multi-platform current affairs. They brought fresh thinking to the grammar of television journalism and showed that journalism can be both swift and revelatory.

"They are all dedicated to training the next generation of reporters and producers and working collaboratively with each other and the commissioning team. These contracts enable them to establish a team dedicated to Dispatches who are able to make fast-turnaround films as well as longer investigations."

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