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Sky merges fact ent, factual/features teams

Michele Kurland (pictured) is stepping down as Sky's head of factual entertainment as part of a restructuring that will see the UK pay-TV network merging its fact ent and factual and features commissioning teams.
June 24, 2013

Michele Kurland (pictured) is stepping down as Sky’s head of factual entertainment as part of a restructuring that will see the UK pay-TV network merging its fact ent and factual and features commissioning teams.

The restructure is designed to eliminate what the broadcaster sees as being an increasing overlap between the two genres, and to simplify the pitching process for indie prodcos.

This has resulted in the merger of the head of fact ent and head of factual and features commissioning roles, and the combining of the production exec for fact ent and production exec for factual and features roles.

There will now be one head of factual commissioning and one production executive of factual, working across the genres, with the roles to be filled by Celia Taylor and Eleanor Bailey respectively.

As part of that restructure, production exec Anne Cafferky will also be departing from her role. Both Kurland and Cafferky are “part of an ongoing consultation process,” according to a spokesperson.

In an internal note to staff, Sky’s director of entertainment channels Stuart Murphy paid tribute to the two execs, adding that he was “sorry we are in a position where we can’t keep both roles.”

Of Kurland, he said: “Her contribution has been enormous¬†– she is an incredibly gifted executive, and a very lovely person and colleague, and I hope we will continue to work with her very closely in whatever new role she takes on next.”

Of Cafferky, he added: “She is hugely respected within Sky and the industry… Those huge fact ent commissions such as Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model, My Kitchen Rules and The Face simply wouldn’t have been able to happen without her hard work and production acumen.”

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.

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