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Channel 4 fact ent head Alf Lawrie and head of youth and digital Karl Warner are both exiting the broadcaster.

C4 has axed the roles as part of its Fast Forward strategy, which will cut its workforce by 18% with 240 jobs set to go.

A former producer for Shine TV and Talkback, Lawrie has led fact ent for the channel for six years, after a year spent as a commissioner.

He has delivered series including The Jury: The Murder Trial, The Rise and Fall of Boris Johnson, Alone and the Grierson Award-winning The School That Tried to End Racism, as well as overseeing heritage brands Gogglebox and The Great British Bake-Off.

C4 chief content officer Ian Katz described Lawrie as “one of the most original, eclectic and mischievous creative influences on the channel”. and praised his “intellectual rigour and fierce independent-mindedness”".

Warner spent six years at the broadcaster, which he initially joined as E4 controller.

He bought the Below Deck and Married At First Sight franchises and ordered a hit UK version of the latter from CPL Productions, which Lawrie also oversaw.

Warner also commissioned E4’s latest entertainment format, Primal Media’s Josh Must Win, and Roughcut comedy Big Boys, which was promoted to C4.

Warner’s digital activity included establishing Channel 4.0 on YouTube as a place for short-form content. Katz will now oversee the digital commissioning team.

Hailing Warner’s “forcefield of optimism and relentless good humour”, Katz told staff:

“Karl has left a lasting imprint on the output of E4 and our social channels but perhaps an even bigger one on the culture of the channel. He has brought a singular combination of infectious enthusiasm, sharp intelligence and unwavering sense of fun to Horseferry Road, somehow raising the energy level of every meeting he has joined.

“He is passionate about TV, about its capacity to transport and inspire and sometimes just brighten people’s lives, and he has been an astonishingly generous and thoughtful colleague to so many of us at every level of the organisation and across every department.” 

Prior to joining C4, Warner was managing director of indie Electric Ray and a BBC commissioning editor and BBC3 executive editor.


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