Channel 4 secures BBC's Sinead Rocks to lead national HQ and creative hubs

Channel 4 secures BBC's Sinead Rocks to lead national HQ and creative hubs

Channel 4 has appointed BBC director of education Sinead Rocks to lead its foray into the UK regions after it created a National HQ in Leeds and creative hubs in Glasgow and Bristol.

As managing director, nations and regions, Rock will establish the national broadcaster in its new homes where 300 of the group’s 800 staff will be distributed and deliver on the ‘4 All the UK’ strategy.

Rocks is to report to chief commercial officer, Jonathan Allan, and will participate in the executive group meetings.

Beneath her, she will hire a Nations and Regions senior team, while also liaising with commissioning teams in partnership with director of programmes Ian Katz. This will see her handed a significant budget as Channel 4 increases its regional production spend from 35% to 50% of main channel UK commissions by 2023, worth up to an additional £250m in total.

Rocks held the director of education role at the BBC in Salford since 2016. She oversaw educational content across TV, radio and online, including BBC Bitesize. However, she started her BBC career as a journalist in Northern Ireland and later helped launch CBBC.

Allan said: “Sinead has an impressive track record of creative and organisational leadership, as well as a huge amount of experience of relocation through being part of the BBC’s move to Media City. I’m thrilled she’s agreed to join Channel 4 as our new managing director, nations and regions, and I know she’ll be a powerful advocate for our staff, new talent and the production sector outside of London.

Rocks added: “It’s a really exciting time to be joining Channel 4. Their nations and regions strategy is ambitious and compelling and I’m delighted that I’ll get to play a key role in bringing it to life and to work with the amazing talent that exists right across the UK.”

In October 2018 when Leeds was selected to host the HQ, Alex Mahon, praised its "compelling and ambitious strategy" after an exhaustive seven-month pitch process that saw 30 cities and regions initially compete for the new offices.

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