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Kate Townsend Leaves BBC Storyville for New Role at Netflix


BBC commissioning editor Kate Townsend, who has been with BBC's doc strand Storyville since 2011, will leave the British pubcaster for a new role at Netflix.

From BBC Storyville to Netflix: Kate Townsend
(Image credit: BBC)

After six years of working for the BBC's documentary strand Storyville, commissioning editor Kate Townsend will leave her post to join the U.S. streaming platform Netflix. Townsend has been in charge of commissioning documentaries at Storyville since Nick Fraser left the BBC last year. According to a statement by the BBC, Emma Loach will replace Townsend as interim commissioning editor until the official successor is announced in the coming weeks. Townsend’s credits at the strand include A Syrian Love Story, Pussy Riot, Notes on Blindness and India’s Daughter.

“I and the BBC4 team remain incredibly grateful for all the work Kate has done nurturing and latterly leading the Storyville strand over the last few years; she leaves us with a really strong slate of films going forward. We look forward to building on those foundations and we wish her the very best for her future,” said Cassian Harrison, channel editor, BBC4, in a statement.

Netflix planning to increase budget for original content in 2017

The change coincides with Netflix's recent announcement of spending $6 billion on original content in 2017. According to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, the growing budget is related to the growth of the company's membership base. Another reason for the investment is the growing competition, which has driven up costs, stated Hastings citing Amazon as one of the biggest threats to his business. "It's been great for talent and writers. There is so much competition. All the new players and the existing players like HBO are beginning to grow. It is this new age of television.", explains Hastings. According to him, the annual investment in original content will be even higher in future.

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