Channel 4 has unveiled a new five-year strategy aimed at making the broadcaster "an agile, genuinely digital-first public service streamer" by 2030.
Called 'Fast Forward', the plan will involve a reorganisation of how content is commissioned to drive digital growth - but will also involve cost-streamlining measures including job losses and a move out of C4's iconic Horseferry Road home in London.
The proposals will see an 18% reduction in head count, comprising around 200 redundancies and 40 unfilled roles, while the move out of Horseferry Road will take place "in the next few years".
Additionally, the broadcaster will look to switch off minor linear channels, starting with its portfolio of music channels including The Box later this year. Instead C4 aims to launch FAST streamed channels, having recently experimented with a dedicated Married At First Sight channel online.
Alex Mahon, C4's chief executive, explained: "Channel 4 was designed to be ahead of the curve and has never stood still. The rate of change in our market is only speeding up. Our new strategy will accelerate our digital transformation - building on 2020's Future4 strategy and our founding public service principles - so Channel 4 remains a trusted, disruptive and distinctive brand into the 2030s, offering brilliant shows that people love and that matter.
"We are genuinely excited about the future. Channel 4 means something to British people – we are trusted, we are a beacon for quality, we stand out for fresh and exciting ideas that matter and will be even more important in a crowded landscape of global content.
"While getting ourselves into the right shape for the future is without doubt the right action to take, it does involve making difficult decisions. I am very sad that some of our excellent colleagues will lose their jobs because of the changes ahead. But the reality of the rapid downshift in the UK economy and advertising market demand that we must change structurally.
"As we shift our centre of gravity from linear to digital our proposals will focus cost reductions on legacy activity. In preparing for a new digital-first future, I hope we can make Channel 4 simpler – for staff and our suppliers – and create a more efficient, inclusive and high performing organisation."
Having successfully avoided government plans for privatisation, Channel 4 also plans to explore new freedoms allowing it to produce its own programming. body check tags ::
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