People/Biz

Big Wave shuffles leadership, appoints Kristie McLure as managing director

UK-based factual producer Big Wave Productions is restructuring its leadership with a series of moves including the appointment of a new managing director. Kirstie McLure (pictured, right) will step into the role of managing ...
May 17, 2021

UK-based factual producer Big Wave Productions is restructuring its leadership with a series of moves including the appointment of a new managing director.

Kirstie McLure (pictured, right) will step into the role of managing director, effective immediately. McLure has produced Emmy Award-winning series, and was formerly managing director at Pioneer Productions from 2012 to 2016.

Big Wave founder Sarah Cunliffe (left) will now move from managing director to the CEO position.

Meanwhile, long-term creatives Mark Woodward and Emma Ross will become creative directors at Big Wave, and work alongside McLure and Cunliffe to build the company’s creative vision and output.

“Kirstie’s appointment, coupled with the strengthening of the wider senior team, allows us to scale up our capacity to meet the increased demand we have seen for our programming,” Cunliffe said in a news release Monday (May 17).

“Kirstie is known for creating hundreds of hours of specialist factual programming for UK, US and international broadcasters. We have a tremendous overlap in our shared interests and vision for the company. We couldn’t ask for a better managing director.”

Big Wave praised McLure’s work with Pioneer Productions, where she helped drive that company’s expansion with fast-turnaround science, lifestyle and natural history content. McLure produced series for Pioneer including Tsunami: Wave That Shook the World and Hindenburg – The Untold Story, and the feature documentary Journey to the Edge of the Universe. She also founded Televators, a media consultancy that supports growing indies.

Ross, meanwhile, has been the company’s head of development since 2008 working to originate, shape and greenlight new projects. And Woodward has been an award-winning director and series producer at Big Wave for 10 years.

“All these new appointments come hard on the heels of a successful year which saw the company win commissions and shoot throughout COVID,” Cunliffe said. “Our new projects for Nat Geo, Discovery and Smithsonian are all now in post, with a wide range of new commissions in the pipeline. It’s an incredibly exciting time for the company.”

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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