Channel 4 joins our Leeds levelling up forum this month
Sinead Rocks of Channel 4, outside the Majestic building, during the remodelling phase, in central Leeds (courtesy Channel 4)
Channel 4's Managing Director, Nations & Regions, Sinead Rocks, will be joining our 'Levelling Up and UK Cities' forum in Leeds this month. The UK government has announced that it wants to privatise Channel 4, with the Culture Secretary, Nadine Dorries, saying that government ownership is holding the broadcaster back, but critics worry that the quality of some of its programmes will suffer.
The broadcaster appointed Sinead in 2019, when she was the BBC’s Director of Education, based at MediaCity in Salford.
Sinead's role of Managing Director, Nations & Regions has been to lead the delivery of Channel 4’s ‘4 All the UK’ strategy and she is the lead executive in its new National HQ in Leeds – working to establish this base and the new Creative Hubs in Glasgow and Bristol. Sinead reports into Chief Commercial Officer, Jonathan Allan and attends Executive group meetings, working with other executives and leaders across the business as a champion for the Nations & Regions and to deliver the commitments set out in the ‘4 All the UK’ strategy.
Sinead has formed a Nations and Regions senior team and has taken on a wider leadership role for all staff based in Channel 4’s new offices outside London, although all these employees will retain their direct reporting lines into current Executive functional responsibilities.
At her appointment, Channel 4 stated that she would also work closely with the Commissioning teams, the Nations & Regions team, the Indie Growth Fund and 4Talent to develop new relationships and opportunities for Nations & Regions producers, talent and stakeholders – as Channel 4 increases its commitment to spend on regional production from 35% to 50% of main channel UK commissions by 2023, worth up to an additional £250m in total. Director of Programmes Ian Katz and the commissioning team across the UK continue to have responsibility for all content commissioning from the new bases.
Sinead has been the BBC’s Director of Education since 2016, based in Salford’s Media City, overseeing a range of content across TV, radio and online including the award winning Bitesize. She played a key role in the BBC’s move to Salford – migrating the BBC’s Learning department to the North West site, and has been one of the senior executives based there.
She started her career as a journalist at BBC Northern Ireland before joining BBC Children’s to work on the launch of the CBBC channel. She is a former editor of Newsround as well as Executive Producer for BBC Current Affairs where she headed up the Manchester network unit and led the team making content for The One Show, Panorama, documentaries for BBC Three and also launched the ‘Rip Off Britain’ franchise.
Channel 4 announced in October 2018 that Leeds would be the new National HQ alongside Glasgow
and Bristol as its Creative Hubs.
When fully implemented, Channel 4’s 4 All the UK strategy, it stated, would result in over 300 Channel 4 jobs being created in the Nations & Regions, including key creative decision makers – responsible for commissioning Channel 4 content and programmes from producers right across the UK.