Karl Warner, Co-Managing Director of Electric Ray, is exiting the Sony owned indie he co-founded to become the Controller of E4. Channel 4 announced the creation of the role last month at the same time they handed the channel a £10 million commissioning budget increase.
In the newly created position, Warner will be responsible for commissioning and the creative vision of the youth-skewing channel. He will report directly to Ian Katz and work in collaboration with all the genre commissioning, programme acquisition and scheduling teams.
“Karl has proven as both a commissioner and producer that he’s one of the most inventive, intelligent and impish figures in British television”, said Channel 4’s Director of Programmes Ian Katz. “I’m thrilled that he will be joining us at this key moment in the history of Channel 4 and can’t wait to see what he does with E4.”
Warner, who previously served as an entertainment commissioner for the BBC, set up Electric Ray with Sony in 2014. Recent Electric Ray commissions include Million Pound Menu, Alone at Home and Doodlebugs. Before joining the BBC, he was Head of Development at Monkey Kingdom. “I love Electric Ray and I’ll miss Meredith and the team massively, plus Wayne and everyone at Sony who have been unbelievably supportive”, Karl Warner added. “I wouldn’t have dreamt of leaving if the chance to run E4 hadn’t come up – it’s a brilliant opportunity that’s too good to miss.”
The appointment of Karl Warner as Controller of E4 comes less than 24 hours after Channel 4 and Katz lost key executive Beth Willis, who is exiting her role as Head of Drama to become a partner at indie The Forge.