Controller, BBC Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra

  • UK
  • London

Website BBC

…a creative leader developing and commissioning  audio speech content for live and on demand

BBC Radio is the home of ten national radio stations, a new digital audio platform, BBC Sounds, performing groups and the BBC Proms.

With its audience of around 11 million listeners, BBC Radio 4 is a unique station, with a schedule that ranges from news, documentaries and debate through to new comedy and original drama.  Radio 4 Extra is BBC Radio’s digital entertainment network, broadcasting classic comedy, drama, features and special seasons. Every day, on air and on BBC Sounds, Radio 4 has more original content than any other broadcaster in the world.

Radio 4 is a successful, much loved and listened to service, at the heart of the BBC’s public service purpose. The Controller of Radio 4 will be the custodian of the public service values and ambitions of Radio 4, curating a service that will thrive; maintaining and developing the world-class, intelligent content which the station is known for, building on Radio 4’s digital successes with podcasts such as Tracks, The Ratline and The Case of Charles Dexter Ward to ensure it thrives in the digital age and developing a renewed cultural and intellectual vision for the network.

The challenge for the Controller of Radio 4 will be to retain the stations’ importance for its loyal audience, continually increase the depth of cultural and political impact of Radio 4 and grow the new and younger audiences within an increasingly competitive environment.  They will lead a process of creative renewal for the network; developing new content and formats which appeal to the younger listeners seeking the type of intellectual and cultural insight Radio 4 provides, retaining its importance in the lives of millions of loyal fans, reinventing the network and continuing to build upon the stations’ digital success as this becomes increasingly the way people choose to listen in the future.

Main Responsibilities:

You will articulate the creative vision and strategy for the network and be responsible for commissioning speech content for BBC Radio 4 and 4 Extra to reach new and heartland audiences.
You will inspire the Radio 4 commissioning teams to reinvent speech content on air and on demand, helping to create the UK’s audio fans of the future.
You will be a key part of the senior team leading BBC Sounds, influencing its overall strategy and delivery with a particular emphasis on contributing to the editorial plan for Sounds, ensuring that young listeners make BBC Sounds their destination for audio entertainment, cultural and intellectual insight.
You will find new and better ways of working, seeking efficiencies and delivering value for money as part of the contribution to meet the BBC’s financial challenge.
You will be responsible for the commissioning and production of content for BBC Ideas ensuring this service retains its unique, independent, yet distinctive style and tone and continues to grow reach.

Are you the right candidate?

You will be a respected industry figure, with experience of the arts, culture and/or news and journalism, ideally in the media or broadcasting industry, and able to demonstrate a depth of political and cultural insight and intellectual vision.
You will have a detailed knowledge and understanding of the Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra content and audience and the ability to apply objective and rigorous editorial judgement across a variety of genres and output.
You will have a deep understanding of the competitive and technological landscape
You will be a champion for diversity and inclusion, on and off air.
You will have a deep understanding of the changing media landscape and a vision for Radio 4/4Extra’s linear and digital future.
You will have experience of leading change through re-invention and renewal.
You will be a natural collaborator, flexible and resilient and able to sustain performance when under pressure from conflicting demands and in the face of significant external scrutiny.

Candidates shortlisted for interview will be asked to present a short paper articulating their vision and strategy for Radio 4 and 4 Extra, live and on demand.

Closing date for applications is midnight on 15th March 2019.  Applications are to be made via the BBC Jobs Website only.

Interviews are expected to take place in late March and early April.


To apply for this job please visit

You might also like

Comments are closed.